Archive for January, 2010

Home Design & Trends: Major DIY Book Recall

January 25, 2010

Just a quick public service announcement for all you DIY-ers out there. I was tipped off by the blog DIY Life that Oxmoor House publishers has recently recalled some of their DIY books due to unsafe advice relating to electrical wiring. Here is the complete story from DIY Life:

Book publisher Oxmoor House recently recalled nearly one million do-it-yourself books due to bad advice regarding electrical wiring in the home. Fortunately, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), no incidents have been reported in relation to the recalled books. Regardless, the following nine titles have been removed from shelves:

  • AmeriSpec Home Repair Handbook
  • Lowe’s Complete Home Improvement and Repair
  • Lowe’s Complete Home Wiring
  • Sunset Basic Home Repairs
  • Sunset Complete Home Wiring
  • Sunset Complete Patio Book
  • Sunset Home Repair Handbook
  • Sunset Water Gardens
  • Sunset You Can Build – Wiring

According to USA Today, bookstores and home improvement stores nationwide sold the recalled books from January 1975 through December 2009. Needless to say, if you have any of these books on your own bookshelves, toss ’em.

For more information on this book recall, visit The Consumer Product Safety Commission website or call 866-696-7602.

I have found that when it comes to wiring, you should always call a professional. Why take chances? You can always check out our listing of electricians in Wisconsin Rapids in the business directory.


Home Design & Trends: Get Organized!

January 19, 2010

A Faster, Easier Way to Get Organized

“Clutter takes several forms. It can be too much to do or too much stuff,” says Barry Iszak, former president of the National Association of Professional Organizers.

We all need a little help gettting our life in order, and it can be easier than you think. Let your computer help you out — here are a few sites we found that can help you stay on top of the details! Is a comprehensive site to help you schedule your day by combining your calendar and to-do lists. You can can create work and personal calendars and then merge them into one. We all know that we need to backup our files, but how do we do it? At, you have your own private web page that stores everything from text to photos to videos, so you can access them anywhere. It’s more provate than emailing and you don’t have to carry around a hard-drive! Find yourself a secure money manager online with It lets you see activity on your credit cards, debit cards and stocks. You receive automatic email and text alerts about balances and bills due so you can save money in fees. You can also use their online tools to see where your money goes each month.

So, with the new year, take some time to organize your life.

Home Design & Trends: Feelin’ Blue?

January 14, 2010

Are you in a Blue Mood?

Since I’m ready to paint, I had to pick a color; and there’s no easier hue to work with than blue, in all its warm and cool tones.

Cool Blues:
Shades known as cool blues―like cobalt, turquoise, and ice blue―have yellow in them and tend to recede, or back away, which can help a small space look bigger. Color experts explain that cool blues encourage calmness (which is nice for a bedroom) and focus (say, in a home office). Sometimes cool blues can go a little further and be cold. But in a bathroom, where you want a crisp, clean vibe, that can be a good thing.

Warm Blues
Famously calming and peaceful, blue can have very different effects on a room depending on its temperature. Warm blues, like the shade shown here (or like denim, ocean blue, or slate blue), contain hints of red. Color experts say they advance, or come toward you, so they help make a room feel cozier. Decorators often like warm blues in social spaces, like the living room, the kitchen, or the dining room.

Keep in mind that the hue or tone of the blue creates a different feeling in your rooms depending on your furniture, wood, rugs, etc. Here are some recommendations from the experts:

Van Deusen Blue HC-156*
Best Blue for a Living Room: “It looks fantastic with rich woods, like cherry,” says Jayne Michaels, an interior designer and a co-owner of 2Michaels Design, in New York City.

Blue Ceruleum Moyen 32020
Best Blue for a Dining Room: “Lush and intimate, for cozy dinners with family and friends,” says Michaels.

Clear Skyscape 028-5
Best Blue for Kids’ Rooms: “A bold shade for both boys and girls,” says Michaels.

Buxton Blue HC-149
Best Blue for a Bathroom: “A clean, fresh feeling with white tile and chrome,” says Michaels.

Good luck – and dream in color!

Home Design & Trends: How About a Little Paint?

January 11, 2010

Now that new year is here, I get all kinds of crazy ideas to redo rooms around the house. My big thing is color which equals paint. Personally, I love the smell of the fresh paint as you open the can. I can’t wait for that first roll of paint to go on the wall. The thrill of accomplishment as you’ve completed the room…it’s all part of the do-it-yourself thrill!

I do, however, always need a little bit of advice from the professionals. So, I decided to pass on a little fo you do-it-yourself-ers out there.

Painting Tips for Large Spaces:

  • Use a 20-foot expandable ladder when painting a stairwell. Rest the bottom of the ladder against a tread for stability.
  • Use ladder mitts on the top end of the ladder to protect dry wall.
  • An inexpensive pot hook provides a spot to hang a bucket of paint from the ladder and avoids going up and down the ladder to load the brush.
  • A professional 18-inch roller cover and frame make the work go faster. A larger tray is also required.
  • A long extension pole helps reach awkward spots.
  • A new product, called a paint stick, which has a tube that can be filled with paint attached to a roller, makes painting go more quickly.
  • Stiff paintbrush? Heat a cup of vinegar in the microwave and soak the brush. Rinse it out and it should be like new!
  • Good luck! Look for more ideas in future blogs!