Photo Credit: AmanaWe've covered couches decorated with markers, graffiti-inspired wardrobes, chalkboard fabric, and wallpaper you can doodle on, but Amana's new "Jot" refrigerator may be the most sensible use of scribbles we've seen yet. The fridge's entire face is made of Dry-Erase material, so you can write down grocery lists, phone messages, and to-dos, and wipe them off cleanly when you're finished. (No word on whether you have to tie your marker to a string and tape it to the side of the fridge, old-school style.) It's kind of the polar opposite of the gleaming, not-so-friendly-looking stainless steel Sub-Zero, which makes me wonder if fridge makers have found that not all audiences are after that shiny, super-modern (and, let's face it, easily fingerprinted) style. What do you think? Would you bring one of these home? [via Curbly]
Read more kitchen tips on Shine:
A new line of no-smudge stainless appliances
A green kitchen renovation
5 tips for organizing your fridge
A microwave for the modern
Blog Posts by Valerie Rains, Shine staff
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, Jul 15, 2008 9:59 PM EDT
Photo Credit: AmanaWe've covered couches decorated with markers, graffiti-inspired wardrobes, chalkboard fabric, and wallpaper you can doodle on, but Amana's new "Jot" refrigerator may be the most sensible use of scribbles we've seen yet. The fridge's entire face is made of Dry-Erase material, so you can write down grocery lists, phone messages, and to-dos, and wipe them off cleanly when you're finished. (No word on whether you have to tie your marker to a string and tape it to the side of the fridge, old-school style.) It's kind of the polar opposite of the gleaming, not-so-friendly-looking stainless steel Sub-Zero, which makes me wonder if fridge makers have found that not all audiences are after that shiny, super-modern (and, let's face it, easily fingerprinted) style. What do you think? Would you bring one of these home? [via Curbly]Read More »from More in scribbled furniture news: The Dry-Erase fridge
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Mon, Jul 14, 2008 8:26 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesHow do I hate thee, traditional bottles of liquid clothing detergent? Let me count the ways:Read More »from The only thing that makes me smile on laundry day is a Nellie's All-Natural Laundry Nugget
1. You are heavy, and when I am carrying my laundry down 4 flights of stairs (and back up again), I really don't like adding your additional 5 pounds of weight to my burden.
2. When I measure you out into the lid/cup to pour you into the washer and then replace the lid, I always, always, always make a mess.
3. Sometimes I toss you in the hamper with the clean clothes that I'm carrying back home because, after all, I only have two hands, and then you leak your blue goo all over everything and I have to start from the beginning and rewash.
4. If I accidentally buy the wrong scent (which is usually any scent at all), my clothing comes out with a powerful aroma that probably doesn't go with whatever perfume I was planning to wear.
Nellie's All-Natural Laundry Nuggets, on the other hand, are just tidy little pre-measured balls of unscented natural cleaning goodness, about the size of a big
You know how people make the argument that accessories (ahem, shoes) cause such compulsive-shopping habits in women because, like, they don't make you feel fat? I sort of feel that way about throw pillows. They're totally unintimidating as home purchases go (no snooty designer-sofa salespeople sneering over your shoulder), they're pretty low-commitment (if you go for affordable ones like the ones we picked, below), and they can be combined with all kinds of furniture in new ways should you decide your current setup sucks and you want to start over. They can also really jazz up even the most basic (ahem, boring) of basics, which is a lot less risky than buying an obnoxiously loud couch and hoping you like it for a decade. Want proof? Check out the 5 bargain-priced cushions we picked as complements for this basic (but not boring!) sofa from Urban Outfitters. Which one(s) do you like best?Read More »from 5 under $25: Throw pillows
1. Urban Outfitters, $19.99 (16" x 16"; cotton)
This one could work in, yes, a teenager's room,
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Fri, Jul 11, 2008 9:15 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Dwell.comThe artfully graffitied wardrobe and side tables of London designer Anna James (at left) that Dwell posted back in May sparked a little bit of debate among Shine readers, but James isn't the only one embracing scribbles as high art. Yesterday's New York Times Home & Garden section featured a slide show of original-Kate-Spade-partner Pamela Bell's East Village townhouse, which houses Bell, her three children, and a sofa she commissioned her daughter's 7th-grade classmates to decorate with markers. Oh, and a couple of chairs that her 7-year-old covered in fabric paint. Mind you, this was not thrift store furniture, to be cast out and replaced after an afternoon of naughty-feeling fun: The sofa is John Derian, which would be considered a splurge for many (including me), and the chairs seem to have a similar provenance. Check out the photos here. What do you think? Would you sacrifice your sofa as a blank canvas to encourage your kids' creativity-or even to let them feel they'veRead More »from Now that's one way to stop worrying about keeping the furniture pristine
Photo Credit: Ork PostersI'm not exactly breaking the news about Ork Posters' city neighborhood poster prints, but I did just have an idea that may or may not have been mentioned exhaustively before: Wouldn't one of these be a great housewarming gift for a friend who has just moved to a new city? (And if it has been mentioned exhaustively, just allow me this brief moment to think I'm clever.) So far the series contains maps of Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Manhattan, and San Francisco, and the latest addition, Los Angeles, with more coming all the time. The pieces are both useful (they'll have you talking like a local in no time) and beautiful (in lots of color combinations), and-even better-affordable ($22 for a poster-size, soy-ink-on-recycled-paper print). Bookmark Orkposters.com for the next time you need a brilliant housewarming gift (or some cool art for a lonely little space on a bare wall), and sign up for email updates when new locations get the graphic treatment. And let your friends pick out their ownRead More »from Party Favorites: New-city housewarming gift
Because houseguests should never have to see your shower moldâ€”easy bathroom cleaning tips to try nowBy Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Thu, Jul 10, 2008 7:20 PM EDT
In the hierarchy of neglected household chores that have really gross results, blowing off your bathroom-scrubbing duties ranks pretty high. And it's doubly embarrassing when actual guests see your shower scum, not just your significant other or your adorable, forgiving pets (have you seen the state of their bathrooms?). But yes, it is such a drag to really give the shower a good once-over every Saturday afternoon. Good news: The ladies at Good Housekeeping say you don't have to-and who would know better, after all, than the ladies at Good Housekeeping? The trick is all in minor maintenance and a few surprise ingredients (bet you never thought car wax would be involved!).Read More »from Because houseguests should never have to see your shower moldâ€”easy bathroom cleaning tips to try now
Watch the video for some really painless ways to keep up appearances and reclaim your weekends (and your pride).
Comment Away: Do you have any genius bathroom-cleaning shortcuts to share?
More cleaning gems on Shine:
6 green cleaning ingredients that can tackle almost anything in your home
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesAfter a few (very frustrating) years of struggling to get decent photos out of a less-than-two-megapixel digital camera about the size of a shoebox (felt like that, anyway) that drained its double-A batteries in minutes flat, I have finally upgraded to a camera from this millennium and am awash in digital files just waiting to be printed in all their full, non-pixellated glory. The best ones will get hung on the wall or framed on a shelf, but I'm not sure how I want to store the rest. In my space-starved apartment, I can't imagine clearing out entire bookshelves to make room for albums, but I also don't know if the increasingly popular photo-storage boxes really encourage perusing (and when they do, don't you get fingerprints all over everything?).Read More »from How do you store your summer-vacation photos?
I do kind of like this set of clear boxes from The Container Store ($12), which at least lets you sort your snapshots into themes and identify and pull out just the ones you want (again, without getting your grubby paws all over all of
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Mon, Jul 7, 2008 5:35 PM EDT
Country Living's editor of architecture and home building Rebecca Thienes walks us through bathroom renovating and redecorating ideas from the magazine's 2008 House of the Year in Beaufort, SC. The highlights? A cool, upscale color palette of gray, black and white; slightly antique-y silhouette portrait art; aged bronze lighting fixtures; tumbled-limestone shower tiles; nautical accents; and hardware that echoes fixtures found throughout the home. What do you think of this room?Read More »from House of the Year Video Room Tours: Bathroom edition
I also noticed a great story in the July issue of Real Simple that showed 3 easy bathroom upgrades that even renters could pull off. Anyone who has hunted for a rental apartment knows the horrors that outdated bathrooms can be, with their strange tile/tub/toilet colors and odd, crammed-to-fit layouts, but the folks at RS showed some really surprising transformations, making pink tile, brown sinks and Broadway-dressing-room-style vanity mirrors the centerpieces of truly chic rooms, rather than the garish
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Wed, Jul 2, 2008 9:12 PM EDT
Trust me, I am all for theme parties (and if costumes are involved, even better). But part of what I like about a theme party is choosing the theme; at Fourth of July parties, it is decided before you send the first invitation. So then the question becomes, do you go all-out stars-and-stripes-and-Uncle-Sam-hats, or just use some combination of red, white or blue party supplies to set the mood. Or do you skip the patriotic thing altogether and just focus on the food? I scanned the Independence Day-themed items on Plumparty.com and found plenty of options for all of the above.Read More »from Speak For Yourself: Do you do patriotic party decorations?
So now, the informal poll: Which of these items would guests most likely find on your Fourth of July table:
Photo Credit: Plum PartyThe literal and cheap: set of three stars and stripes snack bowls for $4. You won't be using these again (and they wouldn't hold up even if you wanted to).
Photo Credit: Plum PartyPaper napkins in a traditional color, but a fresh, versatile pattern. Could be mixed-and-matched with other tableware if you don't use them all up on the
- Valerie Rains, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, Jul 1, 2008 10:13 PM EDT
It is certainly possible that if you are over the age of 16, you don't regularly peruse the Fred Flare site; I do. One thing I love about FF is the "Next Big Thing" contest they run every year, giving a handful of promising young designers a chance to sell their stuff on the site and hopefully get lots of good exposure. While the bulk of the stock is brightly colored accessories (basically adult toys-although not "adult" toys) like Snoopy toothbrush sets and Rubik's cube alarm clocks, there are a few less-silly housewares in the mix that could find a good home in a not-too-stiff setting.Read More »from Housewares designers of the future, as chosen by Fred Flare
Photo Credit: Fred FlareCoco Rodriguez's "C Chair" looks like Pacman and is probably sized for someone smaller than me (it's 2 feet high), but it's still creative and cool and could look great in a kid's room, provided there's a way to make sure you don't roll all the way over backwards. $125, fredflare.com
Photo Credit: Fred FlareSan Francisco artist Mati Rose McDonough is no stranger to the design blog world, but FF is probably bringing her to a