Category: Eclectic Homes

Outfit a Southern Plantation-Style Home — Paint to Porch Furnishings

With their gracious porches, well-proportioned rooms and rambling grounds, Southern plantation-style homes in the U.S. have a whole lot to offer. Whether you’re renovating a historic Lowcountry house or simply feel inspired by classic Southern style, this guide is here to help. Curated picks including paint colors, lighting, cabinetry and more make choice building a cinch — so you can spend more time relaxing with this tall glass of sweet tea on front porch.

VOH Architects

A distinctive blend of elegance and down-home practicality, Southern plantation-style homes exude charm and grace. Key features might include columns, broad porches (single or double), shutters and — even in case you’re lucky — older trees dotting a vast lawn.

Max Crosby Construction

Nothing conjures up comfort quite in addition to the Southern porch. Get the most out of yours with classic dividers in a darkened hue, lantern-style fixtures and easygoing porch furniture.

Dullea and Associates Inc..

Blue-green is the traditional color for porch ceilings at the South. Initially considered to ward off bad spirits, this hue likely has stayed popular due to its effortless charm and relaxing, tropical vibe. Maintain the mood mellow and stay comfortable in hot weather having an outdoor ceiling fan or two.

Paints And Stains

This paint has a classic quality. Like all the Farrow & Ball colors, it changes with the light, occasionally appearing pale grey, other times off-white. It’s not too creamy or yellow, and very sophisticated.

Duron Historic Charleston Green Paint

If you can get your hands on it, Historic Charleston Green is that the classic color for shutters. It’s available only from Duron, but you could also try having it matched by a different paint business to acquire a similar look.

Farrow & Ball

Studio Green No. 93 Paint

One other fantastic green-black, Studio Green from Farrow & Ball will be stunning on shutters, doors or ironwork.

Benjamin Moore

Palladian Blue Paint | Benjamin Moore

Palladian Blue from Benjamin Moore is the best colour of Haint Blue, traditionally used on porch ceilings.

Sussex Bracket Lantern – $1,260

Gorgeous and extra large, these lantern sconces will make a large statement on a plantation-style porch.


Cotswold Lane Outdoor Pendant – $193

Should you want your renovation dollars to elongate, you may appreciate the small price tag on this traditional lantern-style pendant.

Structures Building Company

Inside a plantation house, you may discover stunning details such as coffered ceilings. However, no worries in case your house is missing first details — it’s still possible to have them installed.

Mountain Lumber Company

Floors are essential. If at all possible, salvage your home’s first floors. If that is not feasible, recovered heart pine, a favourite flooring in older Southern homes, would be a lovely choice.

Acadia Shutters & Blinds, Inc..

A plantation home begs for antique plantation shutters — they could easily go in almost any room.

House of L Interior Design

“Traditional,” “classic” and “quietly lavish” would be good descriptors to keep in mind while designing your plantation kitchen. Lots of space and A great range provide room for celebration prep. Marble counters are a worthy splurge, particularly in the event that you bake a whole lot, as they are best for rolling out dough.

Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home

Another combo to attempt: cupboards that were straightforward kicked up a notch using a ceramic apron sink black granite counters plus handles.

Pacific Coast Kitchen & Bath

Rohl makes classic apron-front farmhouse sinks that are wonderful. Pair one with a gleaming bridge faucet for a classic look.

Port Angeles Cabinet Co..

A plantation home wouldn’t be complete without plenty of storage space for an entertaining arsenal — beautiful glass-front cabinets such as these would suit the bill.

Hardware Hut

Schaub and Company Traditional Design Cup Pull – $19.95

The ultrashiny complete on these classic cup pulls will provide a significant style upgrade to older existing cabinets if you’re looking to rehabilitation rather than substitute.

Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home

In the bath you can not go wrong with classic touches such as white cabinetry, mosaic tile, tongue and groove paneling, and a capacious tub.

Restoration Hardware

Chatham Train Rack – $235

This train rack is as practical as it is luxury. Stacks of towels on the top and hang bathrobes or towels below.

Vintage Tub & Bath

Town Square Faucet

This faucet has a style for a price that is reasonable. It would be right at home on a broad pedestal sink.

Kara Weik

If you’re lucky enough to have a grand old tree on your property, have a cue from this Dallas house and install an old-fashioned rope swing.

Tell us : Are you renovating a plantation home or working some of its components into your home’s style?

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12 True and Tried Paint Colors for Your Walls

Many people understand what general paint colour they want but struggle with envisioning the exact shade. Others are just afraid to devote to colour because they are not sure what works best with their own furniture. Among the points about paint I like to make with clients is that the colors you may like may be very different from colors that you want to live with.

Some colors translate perfectly to walls. Some, although beautiful, are much better saved for fabrics or rugs. Here are some colors of popular, tried and true paint colors alongside their exact name and brand, that I think translate nicely to walls.

Aquidneck Properties

Blue. Among my favorite options for a bedroom would be really a gentle sky blue with a subtle blossom undertone. Blue is relaxing and a logical selection for slumber-inducing relaxation.

This bedroom is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Silent Seconds 1563, which is paired with a crisp white.

Crisp Architects

Green. I’ve long admired the shade of green in this particular kitchen. I think that it’s perfectly paired with the white cabinets and does a good job of incorporating heat.

This mellow color of green is Farrow & Ball’s Ball Green 75.

FORMA Design

Red. When a customer asks me to pick a red for them, I like to go with a pure, fire engine red. I paint a couple of walls and toss in some more red in rugs or cloths. I like pairing red with blue or brown as accents.

This stylish TV place is painted in Sizzling Haute AC119R by Duron.

Tom Stringer Design Partners

Yellow. Among the trickiest paint colors to get right is yellow, but this shade is just perfect. A tip for picking a yellow from a paint enthusiast deck: Select something that appears nearly beige. Yellow is obviously considerably brighter on a wall than on a paint chip.

This sun-filled dining room is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Mushroom Cap 177.

Carolina Design Associates, LLC

Brown. My favorite neutral colour for walls is brown. There are many beautiful colors of brown that are so flexible. Brown works excellent with crimson, green, white, red and other neutral colors.

I really like the usage of the distressed cream armoire contrary to this perfect color of brown, which is Sherman-Williams’ Tea Chest SW6103.

ScavulloDesign Interiors

Greige. A made-up colour, but significant enough to mention because I use it. A soft grey with beige undertones that’s the perfect complement to most white marbles, for example Calacatta. It is a wonderful solution for people who feel grey is too cold.

This tasteful bathroom is painted inside my favored greige, Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter HC-172.

Regan Baker Design Inc..

Beige. A simple beige is a must-have for my paint arsenal. I really like beige all through the house punctuated with bold colour and other neutrals. Loved for its flexibility, beige is also a excellent choice as a background for an art collection.

This elegant entrance is painted in Sherwin-Williams’ Accessible Beige SW7036.

MANDARINA STUDIO interior design

Lavender. I understand some loyal lavender fans. A gentle, barely there shade of the colour is stunning and looks best with a crisp white trim. I love mixing lavender with robin’s egg blue or grey.

All these lavender-kissed walls are perfect in Benjamin Moore’s Organdy 1248.

Pink. Not just for little girls’ bedrooms, pink can be very sophisticated in the right shade. My favourite pinks are tender and purely pink. Pink looks great paired with gray, white, green and blue.

This bubbly pink is named Bella Pink SW 6596, by Sherwin-Williams.

Tara Bussema – Neat Organization and Design

Gray. A favorite colour for modern and transitional interiors, grey is a unique neutral. I adore a soft charcoal grey paired with creamy whites and beige. Try grey with a punch of chartreuse for a sudden combination that really works.

This dramatic great room is painted in Dunn-Edwards’ Baby Seal DE 6361.

Patrick Sutton Associates

White. White is really among the most asked-about colors. The perfect white is sought after for cabinets and trim. Undertones in white paint are all significant and can really change a palette.

My Treasured pure white is White Dove OC-17, by Benjamin Moore. This white, displayed here in this stunning kitchen, is crisp with no undertones. It looks good against any colour.

McCroskey Interiors

Black. A remarkably tasteful selection for any room, black looks fantastic against many colors. When employing black, consider contrasting it with crisp white trim and punchy colors in fabrics or rugs. I prefer to see an eggshell finish on walls, and black seems particularly complex in eggshell.

This royal bedroom boasts a gorgeous shade of black called Beluga, by Behr.

Your turn: Please show us a room together with your tried and true paint pick from the Remarks below!

How Light Affects Your Interior Paint Color
Locate interior designers and colour consultants near you

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Decluttering — How to Get the Help You Want

My friend Jane is one of those peculiar people who receives energy from yanking out of chaos. She runs and owns a bed-and-breakfast within her house, a hundred-year-old Georgian mansion. Her kitchen is a miracle of business; even her label manufacturer is labeled. After we fully remodeled our kitchen, I told her I’d love her expert help in coordinating it, however it was just years later, after my epiphany about decluttering, that we actually made it happen.

My kitchen wasn’t even in terrible form. The counters were apparent, there wasn’t a ton of clutter, and I actually had some systems in place, but I knew Jane would allow me to maximize the distance. Eleven hours later, the kitchen was totally reorganized, as was the very small pantry and small linen closet down the hall in addition to my toilet vanity, because this led to this and that .

At the conclusion of the afternoon, I was tired, but I knew I never needed to even consider organizing a room without Jane leading the charge. She had been a force of character, but powerful. After that we went room by room, every few weeks or so, decluttering and reorganizing before the day my home burned down.

Jane and I couldn’t be any different if we tried, but we worked well together for a variety of reasons. Here are the qualities I recommend searching for in a gifted friend or skilled organizer.

The secretary”gets” you. Jane is a writer and contains a massive personal library, so that I knew she would not fight me about my books. Her butler’s pantry is larger than many flats and is filled with crystal, china and glass. She loves antiques and knows sentimental attachment to things, therefore there again I knew she would not force me to get rid of everything, but help me to prioritize and organize.

Indefatigable energy. Decluttering is exhausting work, physically and mentally. Like I said before, some people get energy out of pulling order out of chaos, and this is a nonnegotiable. There will be moments (hours!) When you would like to crawl into the fetal position because the job is really overwhelming, but this is when a naturally organized person has become fired up and gaining momentum.

A sense of comedy. That is really for all parties involved. If there is ever a time you want in order to laugh, it is when you are knee deep in boxes and bags and the conclusion of everything is nowhere in sight.

Creativity and versatility. Jane’s fire is”systems,” that are personal patterns that establish and preserve order. We needed to find compromises between her ideas for an perfect world and our day-to-day living for a household with several members not inherently arranged — among whom is me!

Basic respect and kindness. To put it , Jane is not a social worker, and her attitude is often,”What’s wrong with you?” — that is not always helpful. I came to decluttering with a healthy self image; I knew I had been bringing several things to the desk, but coordinating was not one of these. I also knew that Jane cared for me and believed a lot of me generally. Mutual respect overall is imperative.

Just as important as finding a good match with a friend or specialist is making certain you’re ready. Ask yourself a few questions:

Am I willing to try something new? Should you satisfy every proposal ,”That won’t do the job,” you are not going to profit from another individual’s wisdom. You may think you’re being functional, but it is really a form of defensiveness. “Try it on,” as the entire life coaches say. Before you reject a new method of doing something, try to envision how it could function and then refine it for you and your loved ones if needed.

Am I willing to get rid of a good deal of stuff? Of course there are exceptions to this; you understand who you are, and please continue. However, by and large, the majority of us have too much junk. It isn’t important how much you paid for it or how priceless it’s, sentimentally speaking. If it’s covered with dust and stacked in a pile — and you are overwhelmed — you want to get rid of it or a lot of other things to make adequate space.

In case you can not emphatically answer yes to both those questions, it is an indication you are not quite ready to get outside assistance. It’s exactly what it is; just don’t expect someone to help you rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic. It is OK to be nervous and not quite sure you are going to have the ability to get everything done. That’s normal. Recognizing you want help and being ready to ask for it’s an enormous step.

Initially it could possibly be stressful. You’ll be making a lot of decisions and may be feeling ashamed of the status of things. This should pass. As you gain momentum you should feel hopeful, more confident and even excited. If the stress is only rising, this is a sign that the person helping you is not a good match or, again, you aren’t ready yet.

Tom Stringer Design Partners

Special tip: if you’re able to possibly avoid it, decide on a helper other than a person to whom you gave birth or that gave birth to you. The dynamic between parent and child when one is neat and organized and one is… not may be very stressful.

Hire a skilled or call on a friend and, unless it is a dire emergency, leave your parents or your kids out of it, other than to put dibs on household heirlooms.

4 Obstacles into Decluttering — and How to Beat Them

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A Live-Work Space Lets In Light and Creativity

When Gary Richmond and Elaine Walker first fulfilled this house, they fell in love with its possible and agreed to get it on the spot. The husband-and-wife design team knew they had a fixer-upper in their hands, and it had been stuck in the early ’80s. “We worked together with the first brick structure, but we all restyled the decor and much of the interior, which was not a priority for the previous owner,” says Richmond. The house today reflects the couple’s distinctive flavor, their penchant for pre-loved furniture and their efforts to direct a more sustainable lifestyle.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Gary Richmond and Elaine Walker
Location: Central Southampton, England
Size: 2,500 square feet


The few pairs striking pieces like the Designers Guild drapery, printed rug and large scale paintings using white walls, which enhance the artwork. They bought nearly all of their furniture in vintage shops and specialty stores in London and Brighton.

Richmond salvaged the rich, strong mahogany flooring from a nearby college sports hall.


Richmond stripped off the ground’s older markings by hand to retain its grain and patina. “Most people today think the flooring is original to the house,” Richmond says. “Hand-stripping the flooring rather than sanding the whole thing using a machine actually adds to the floor’s personality.”

Paintings by New York artist and friend Tim Kent flank the seating area.


Sliding doors connect the living room to the atrium. This area had much more supporting joists earlier, “which was lovely to check at but obstructed the light, Richmond says. “We replaced the timber using an aluminum version.”


The reading chairs fronting the library shelves twice as seeing lounges in front of the media center.


Inspired by the reclaimed floors in the living space, the design team made a kitchen that’s sympathetic to the home’s brick structure while still expressing their modern taste.

The custom kitchen cabinetry is a rosewood veneer. A floating black parapan locker unit echoes the dark sheen of these light pendants. The flamed granite countertops have a textured surface that’s warm and leather-like to the touch.

Kitchen design and joinery: Walk Inside Design; dining room table: Safire; mild pendants: Conciluce


The kitchen and dining area change from bright and outward looking during the day, to darker with characteristic lighting and a cozier feel at dusk and into the night.


The bedroom reflects a more minimalist ethos in comparison using all the modern-eclectic kind of the rest of the house. A layered window treatment produces a sophisticated appearance and helps the bedroom.


Under-floor heating warms toes in the restroom. The few laid the bathroom floor and wall tiles at the exact brick-like pattern used throughout the house.

Toilet joinery: Walk Inside Design



Shutters covering the massive atrium window filter sunlight. Guests can control the solar-powered motor using a bedside remote.


The lined wallpaper provides more insulation and smooths from the unfinished plaster work underneath. The wallpaper adds visual interest and takes the eye away from the all room’s straight lines and angles.


“Bathing in the soaking tub is merely the very relaxing feeling — day or night,” says Richmond.

Another studio (curved wall) that formerly contained a swimming pool homes the pair’s office. “A pool wasn’t an option for us, so we transformed the pool to our job studio. We shortened the space to offer extra parking in the rear and a patio in the front,” says Richmond.


Inside, job lamps, a mirrored lamp and industrial light pendants throw the pitched roof’s angles a couple of curves. Tolix chairs and a pair of stools surround the table.


The design duo thinks of the house as the pleasant surprise in the end of the road.


“We’re surrounded by Victorian terraced houses. Most people, even folks from the region, don’t even know it’s here,” Richmond says.

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Bedrooms for the Homes of Today

Since the Victorian age, that which we need in the bedroom has changed very little. We want basically the same pieces — mattress, bedside tables, clothing storage. And we enjoy basically the exact same aesthetic — comfortable, tranquil, even luxurious. Really, we may find that period’s wallpapers and fabrics attractive. Victorian staples such as freestanding wardrobes, marble-topped washstands and folding displays may be redeemed for modern bedrooms while still keeping the Victorian feel. Keep reading to learn how to turn a Victorian bedroom into a private space you will love spending time in.

Dreamy Whites

It is well worth noting that Victorian women in their country houses often spent the entire morning in bed reading and composing letters. I’m not sure I would get away with this, but if I did, I would want the finest linen and lace to surround me — just like them.

I wonder if I could find a lace iPad cover?

Dreamy Whites

Aside from the bed, the wardrobe will be the largest piece of furniture at a bedroom. The most popular models had a mirror at the center cupboard and double-width storage on either side. Traditionally, the wardrobes were made of dark varnished wood — a rather large and somber characteristic for today’s tastes. But, you can often pick one up cheaply and achieve great effects by stripping and painting it.

Aiken House & Gardens

Although not necessarily a four-poster (even though they were hot), Victorian beds often had draperies made from light cloth, with matching curtains on the windows.

Cabell Design Studio

Matching draperies and window dressing adorn this French-inspired space, without the four-poster mattress. Note the display in the corner — these were hugely popular in Victorian bedrooms.

Ernesto Santalla PLLC

Traditionally used to hide unsightly things (or maybe for the woman to groom behind), the display now functions as a excellent means to modify the shapes of the space. I adore the inventive way a display was used here. It is a hugely elastic thing, also; if bought cheaply in poor condition, it can be creatively re-covered in wallpaper or fabric.

The bunk bed often appeared in Victorian bedrooms. If you’d like the design but the finish feels a little too traditional, then get out your paintbrush. White makes for a soft and romantic aesthetic, or go for a bold and contrasting color option to get a more eclectic look.

Meredith L. Bohn Interior Design

Bedside tables were rarely matching, as this wasn’t the age of uniform bedroom sets. Consider using one plain table, covered with a tablecloth or lace, and an antique table or old army chest for another side.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Traditional Victorian bedrooms also had a washstand — a free-standing piece of furniture with a marble top, a bowl and a water pitcher. Put a washstand to good use on your en package. They can even be converted to hold plumbing.

Tracery Interiors

Fixtures and fittings in a Victorian bedroom could have been much the same as in the remainder of the home, including architectural moldings and a fireplace, needless to say. Many houses have had fireplaces removed or obstructed, however, the recesses make for good storage, and the mantel is excellent for a mirror.

While open fires can be messy at a bedroom, think about a gas alternative to get a convenient and clean flame. Pure indulgence and, in true Victorian fashion, the perfect spot for the armchair.

Beccy Smart Photography

Finally, don’t be a slave to your Victorian bedroom. You are able to keep all the traditional features and toss in some glamour and contemporary pieces to get a gorgeous eclectic look. I’m sure Jane Eyre would approve.

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Guest Groups: Neutral Elements

While colour is always a welcome element in almost any room, sometimes a neutral palette of cream, gray, white and rustic brown could be precisely what your space requirements. It makes for a comfortable, relaxing and tranquil escape right on your home. — Annemarie from Brunch in Saks

Farrow & Ball

The Lotus Papers BP 2010 – $285

Including a bit of depth and personality, this lotus-print background from Farrow & Ball would complement any neutral space nicely. Pair it with an accompanying stone, gray or creamy white wall, and your space will instantly come to life.

West Elm

Turning Pendant, White/Natural – $149

I truly love this timeless necklace with its wood base and natural colour. It is versatile and may hang above anyplace, from an office desk to a dining room table.

West Elm

Boerum 6-Drawer Dresser – $799

I like this good wood dresser because of its normal appearance and practical use. It can easily fit in with any bedroom decor, and it may be dressed up with accessories kept simple with a single lamp and some other essentials.


Reed Zinc Chair, Open Weaves – $149

Just a small darker but still lovely with things neutral, this handwoven Reed Zinc Chair would look great in a workplace or multiplied round a kitchen table.


Lotus Natural Ottoman – $499

If maintaining your living space a neutral space with natural elements is your target, then that Lotus Ottoman from CB2 is perfect for you. I like that it can double as a coffee table if needed.

Pottery Barn

Classic Ticking Stripe Duvet Cover & Sham, Neutral – $29

I love this stone-colored duvet and shams from Pottery Barn. Light-colored bedding can make your bedroom feel calm and relaxing, making for the best night’s sleep.

Brook Farm General Store

Bud Vase, Small – $32

Small and ideal for a fireplace mantel or coffee table centerpiece, these handmade stoneware vases are simple, yet they could add tons of style to your space.

Z Gallerie

Chateaux Wall Plaque – $249.95

This Chateaux Wall Plaque is visually interesting and adds great dimension to your space. I also like that it’s unbiased enough to fit into almost any design scheme.


Asanto Natural Pillow – $39.95

A set of natural cushions, such as these interwoven linen ones from Crate & Barrel, is ideal for adding rich feel.


Uttermost Alita Mirror, Champagne – $386.99

This mirror is constructed of hand-forged metal strips, which gives it a classic flair that’s fit for almost any neutral space.


Cicada Art Bird Art Neutral Hand Torn Parchment Printing by The Haunted Hollow Tree – $28

These hand-torn parchment prints are ideal to keep your room within a neutral colour range while working nicely with any design scheme.


Weave Floor Lamp – $149

Another great way to add texture in addition to height is with a floor lamp. I love this woven light which illuminates its beautiful cross-hatching when lit.


Cotton Woven Stripe Throw, Neutral – $89

The tiniest of accessories, such as this striped throw, can contribute to the subject of your neutral space.


Target House ™ Wool/Jute Rug, Cream – $24.99

I really like this natural, woven, wool carpet from Target as it’s simple and can adapt readily to almost any furniture you already have.

Tree Ring Holder – $9.95

Cute and simple, this tree-shaped ring holder makes the ideal accessory accessory.


Traveler Coffee Table – $998

I love when furniture serves numerous purposes, similar to this trunk which may be used as a coffee table too. Use it to store family photo albums and other items you would like to keep close, or fill it with blankets and additional sheet sets for guests.

Cube Marketplace

Mud Australia Porcelain Large Pebble Bowl – $104

Neutral decor does not have to always be on screen. These porcelain pebble dishes are fantastic for everyday usage but also stylish enough to use for dinner parties or get-togethers.


HAVERDAL Frame – $3.99

These mat frames are great on almost any surface or as part of the outfit on a gallery wall.


Tropical Palm Natural Placemat – $4.95

I love this collection of natural place mats. They’re just right for dressing up your dining room table, yet they’re still simple enough to use daily.

Beach Style Decorative Bowls – $39.95

I love the natural and organic feel of the Naples Bowl. It is the great tabletop accessory for any neutral space.

Next: Neutrals from the Bedroom

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Home Tech: Where's My Robot Housekeeper?

A charming new film called”Robot & Frank” takes place in the not too distant future, where humanoid robot housekeepers are trivial. (The direct robot personality also acts as caregiver to an aging man and, finally, as co-conspirator and friend.)

It is a frequent theme in popular culture. From Isaac Asimov’s”I, Robot” series published starting in 1950 to the Will Smith movie of the same title to”The Jetsons,” have guaranteed a future where smart machines would wash our dishes and do our laundry.

In every one of those fictional depictions, housecleaning robots are humanoid. The home of the future is washed by something approximating a human servant re-created out of circuits and machined metal components.

Frank Langella in”Robot & Frank”

It is the future today, is not it? So where’s your robot housekeeper? It turns out that a few elements of autonomous housekeeping were harder than imagined. The mechanical problems have been resolved, and the”intelligence” to carry out domestic chores — for example, draining dishes and placing them into a dishwasher — is also doable.

Two problems prevent us from getting”The Jetsons'” Rosie the Robot: pattern recognition and decision making.

Your brain’s skills to recognize what objects are, and to contextualize them, are far beyond even the most effective computer. These skills are required for even the most commonplace of national pursuits.

So with the current technologies, humanoid, all-purpose cleaning robots are out of the question and will be for quite some time.

The fantastic thing is that little housecleaning robots which specialize in just one task are becoming more and more accessible and affordable.

Roomba 650 Floor Cleaner – $399.99

Floor-Cleaning Robots

Robots that vacuum rugs and wash floors have been around awhile, and they improve with every generation.

The chief in the group is a company named iRobot. They make vacuum cleaner robots under a brand called the Roomba and cleansing or floor-washing robots known as the Scooba. Other companies have emerged which also sell Roomba-like robot vacuums.

In general, these floor-cleaning robots are all round, flat and operate on re-chargable batteries. They map the room in their robot brains and make multiple passes in every area. Sensors stop them from tumbling down stairs and permit them to clean around the bottoms of furniture. Many return to their charging channels, so the only human intervention required is the occasional emptying of their dirt bubbles and cleaning of their brushes.

One of iRobot’s most recent products is state of the art. Called the Roomba 650, this floor cleaner automatically corrects for various sorts of floors and carpets. And it has a fresh layout for transferring dirt into an enlarged bin, which involves draining less often. You can program it to clean up to seven times each week starting at whatever time you specify.

WCR-I001 Window Cleaning Robot – $539.99

Window-Cleaning Robots

A new category of robot does windows! These generally involve two light and small units that you set on all sides of the window — one side cleans, and the other hand holds it against the glass using magnets and controls direction and speed.

Once you turn it loose, the robot cleans horizontally until it reaches the other side of the window; then it makes another pass in the opposite direction a few inches lower. These passes until the window is done, repeat.

One of the leading brands is Named Windoro WCR-I001 Window Cleaning Robot. It cleans replaceable microfiber cloths and runs for approximately two hours on a battery charge, as stated by the manufacturer.

Looj 330 – $299.99

Rain Gutter-Cleaning Robots

iRobot creates a gadget known as the Looj 330, which won’t only clean your roof’s rain gutters without much effort on your part, it will reduce your ladder time, which makes that seasonal gutter-cleaning chore safer.

The Looj is a lanky, watertight mini-tank that fits to the gutter. You turn it on and let it go, and its large, rubberized flaps flip the leaves and junk out of your gutters.

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A trestle is the bridgelike structure which can be found behind a tabletop. It consist of two vertical studs, or legs, and a horizontal brace.

Charlie & Co.. Design, Ltd

The trestle with this rustic farm-style table includes a wonderful raw finish, in keeping with the table’s overall look.

McClellan Architects

A contemporary trestle table with banquette seating fits well within this contemporary space.

lilach shahaf

This trestle table works well within this clean-lined dining space, but it would fit into a more traditional design too.

Cary Bernstein Architect

The simplicity and stability of trestle construction is a good match with Amish furniture.

Rachel Reider Interiors

This trestle table dark-stained oval table top matches the curves of this built-in bench seat.

Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC

While most trestle tables feature a single trestle, here they double up to support a table at a sawhorselike manner.

Read more trestle photos

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Guest Groups: Silliness in the Kitchen

For me, cooking isn’t always fun. But, there are particular times when things get somewhat frustrating, and by frustrating that means anything related to baking (for me, anyway). Regardless of our culinary flaws, we should never take anything too badly. Another deflated self — errr, souffle? I believe that it’s time to get some comic relief! I’m a firm believer in playing along with your meals. Here are my favorite picks for whimsical and marginally over-the-top fantastical kitchen accessories.
— Kristin from The Cuisinerd


Glove And Hate Oven Glove Pair – GBP 24

I’m becoming a bit tough love on my (lack of) success in carbonated. These certainly need to make a permanent appearance hanging out of my kitchen countertop.

Tea Rules The World Sugar Bowl And Creamer By Takae Mizutani And Sons – $71.88

Is it the golden detailing or the simple fact that there is a unicorn? OK, it is certainly the fact that you is a unicorn. I’m obsessed!

Fred Flare

Dollhouse Brush And Dustpan Set – $15

I’m having a hard time thinking that this beautiful lady will not immediately pop into life and help wash crumbs like Mrs. Butterworth. She is delightful!


A di Alessi Paradise Bird Milk Jug – $32

I’m afraid if I buy this milk jug I might have morning discussions with it on cereal. Heck, that really sounds fantastic!


Dino Salad Servers – GBP 18.95

What did the dino salad fork say to another dino salad ? You know there’s a joke in there someplace. These are beyond enchanting.


Banana Josephine Timer By Stefano Giovannoni For Alessi – $54

Who better to tell you when the frozen pizza is more prepared than a monkey wearing banana rings?


Showtime Vase two – $267

I love everything about this vase, largely it looks like a Teletubby room suit. I need so badly to get a tulip poking from the chest pocket.

Gretel Home

Beater Whisk – $18

These candy-colored whisks could cure the bluest of days. So will the brownies you make together. Now my only trouble is that color to select! They are absolutely gorgeous.


“Paper Boat” Table Top Serving Set – $25

How playful are these boat serving dishes? The little spoon oars! The salt and pepper buoys! Tabletops never seemed so fun.


Distortion Candlestick – $24

This candlestick immediately sends you on a magical carpet ride to Alice In Wonderland. I love every little quirky bend into it!


Animal Wine Stopper – $24

Giraffe bottoms are the black and clearly my first pick for corking wine. I can not quit laughing.

Fred Flare

Buddha Butter Dish – $26

Buddha Butter? Try saying that five times fast.

Rare Device

Crow Bottle Opener – $29

This bottle opener is modern, sleek and with purpose, but nevertheless provides a giggle. I believe this is as magnificent as it’s silly. Who has a bottle to open? I need to put this birdie to do the job!


Boston Warehouse Brandon Green Veggie Peeler – $9.95

Have you got 10 lbs of sausage looking at you needing peeling? Something tells me that this feisty little lady might make that job a bit more entertaining.

Rare Device

I adore this trivet so much, I would hate to cover this up with a hot pot. It is cheerful, lively and even shaped like a smile.

Boston Warehouse

Toucan Can Opener – $19.99

It is wonderful how just a little play with color can transform a regular object. Having trouble prying open that tin of tomatoes? Toucan take action!

Boston Warehouse

White Octopus Dish Scrubbers – $17.99

I’m a firm believer that putting eyes on any inanimate object is instantaneous comedy. This octopus scrubber is no exception.

Donna Wilson

Use My Beehive Tea Towel – GBP 11.20

Washing dishes might be the least favourite activity in the kitchen. This is probably the final towel I’d use for the task, as it’s just too adorable. Showcased hanging around the oven door it’s!

Gretel Home

Crushed Glass – $14

I have started a collection of small”paper cup” glasses in my cupboard. This crushed version may need to join the ring. I love it!


Goldfish Egg Cup By Stefano Giovannoni – $30

There is not any limit to my amusement with egg cups. This one wins not only the color, but also the ability to make a fish look like a manga character. I will take five.

Next: 10 Elements of a Eclectic Kitchen

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