Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine

  • 5 Amazing Apartments (full of Smart Decor Ideas for Any Space)

    Utilize architectural features in your apartment: A Just in case you missed it, This Old House launched a new tumblr blog called This Old APT. The environment is populated by TOH's junior staff and resident apartment-upgrade pros. Here's a round up of some of the amazing apartments we've curated (full of smart decor ideas you can steal for your home). -Tabitha Sukhai,

    Shown here: Utilize architectural features in your apartment: A "photo ledge" is a great way to display framed art and photos without putting holes in the wall. See more of this amazing apartment at Cup of Jo.

    The Look of Built-In Bookcases for $197
    Homeowners Hilary and Dan Delgadillo had a ho-hum living room that lacked architectural character. So Hilary decided to add her own by flanking the window with built-in bookcases. After months of scouring Craigslist for used furniture to incorporate into the design, she found the perfect fit: two solid-pine units with open shelves as well as closed cabinets.
    Budget built-ins you can DIY (and un-build when you move)Budget built-ins you can DIY (and un-build when you move)
    Dentil molding, a scalloped valance, and a

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  • YOUR Best Bedroom: 6 DIY Headboards You Can Make Today

    According to our Interwebs robots, DIYers are searching for creative headboard ideas to spruce up where they rest their heads. Think of your headboard as the fireplace mantel of the bedroom-a great opportunity to create a focal point. If you happen to have a fireplace in your bedroom, two things: 1) Lucky! and 2) No such thing as "too many pretty things to look at." Here are some of the best DIY headboard designs we've ever seen. And, we've seen quite a few. -Tabitha Sukhai,

    How to Upholster a Headboard
    How to upholster a headboardHow to upholster a headboard
    With just a handful of affordable materials and a free afternoon, you can create a custom upholstered headboard like the one shown up there. This design hangs on the wall with D-rings, making installation as easy as hanging a picture.

    See all the steps in How to Upholster a Headboard (Difficulty level: moderate). Don't like the D-rings? Here's another way to DIY an upholstered headboard (Difficulty level: easy).

    Build a Spindle Headboard

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  • DIY with Doors: Reuse Ideas for a Common Renovation Throwaway

    Steal ideas from this round up of trash-to-treasure transformations, from DIYers just like you! -Tabitha Sukhai,

    From Doors to Handsome Headboards
    From doors to headboardsFrom doors to headboards
    At most salvage yards you'll find row upon row of these paneled doors, many made from old-growth timber, at a range of prices. Our resident salvage-style expert Amy Hughes started "upcycled" her door into a stylish wall-hung headboard with built-in sconces that serve as reading lamps. See all the steps in How to Turn Interior Doors Into Headboards.

    Build a Hanging Daybed for the Porch
    Porch swingPorch swing
    TOH reader Kodie K. from Old Hickory, Tennessee, added a backrest and an armrest to my old front door and wrapped the edges with scrap-wood skirting to create this hanging daybed. See How to Hang a Daybed for more info to do it yourself.

    Turn a Door Into a Display Shelf
    Display shelvesDisplay shelves
    Blake E. in Purcellville, VA, found a dozen old wood doors stowed in the barn of his 1880s farmhouse. To make the shelf, he sawed the door in two and fastened the

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  • 3 Clever Closet Hacks You'll Wish You Knew About Sooner

    ...but don't worry. You know about them now. And that's all that matters. -Tabitha Sukhai,

    1. Double hanging space by making "hard-to-reach" easy
    Pull-down hanging rodsPull-down hanging rods
    Want to stack a short-hanging rod over one that's set up high? It's doable with a specialty hinged pull-down fitting (find them at and Just grab the rod with the included hook to pull items within arm's reach.

    RELATED: From closet to laundry room

    2. Rethink and reuse
    Use spice racks to organize small items in your closetUse spice racks to organize small items in your closet
    A magnetic spice rack with windowed portholes can organize bits like cuff links and collar stays. Mount it on a wall or the back of a door. This one is about $15; The Container Store.

    RELATED: Turn an entry closet into a mudroom

    3. Put furniture where it doesn't "belong"
    Drawers with charmDrawers with charm
    Drawer systems can be short on charm. Instead, see if you can slide in a small dresser or lingerie chest for socks, ties, and underwear. Top it with a dish to catch pocket change, a jewelry organizer, and a snapshot from your last vacation; as

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  • Secrets to Vegetable Garden Success

    There's nothing like the earthy crunch of a just-picked carrot or the sweetness of a juicy tomato still warm from the sun. And the taste is even sweeter when it's one you've grown on your own.
    -The editors of

    Go Small or Go Home
    Vegetable gardensVegetable gardens
    For parents like Phil Nolan and Michele Rast, backyard vegetable gardening has intangible benefits. "We want our kids to appreciate the way things grow and to understand the value of food," Nolan says when asked why he dug up part of the family's New Jersey lawn to put in a formal 18-by-32-foot veggie garden. The 576-square-foot plot produces veggies all summer for a family of four, with plenty left over to share. Tidy raised beds and gravel paths make it easy to care for, and evoke an English country garden. Nolan's garden, now in its third season, has thrived, but not every homeowner is so lucky. Why do some fail where others succeed? At least one aspect of soil preparation, plant selection, or growing wasn't right.

    "Often, just a few

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  • How to Clean Any Carpet Stain

    You can handle any carpet-cleaning emergency with stuff you already have in your cupboard. We've cleaned enough old carpets to know! -via
    Wall-to-wall carpetingWall-to-wall carpeting
    Oops! Whether it be grape juice, a little present from Fido, or finger-paint artwork from your 3-year-old, it seems whatever is not supposed to get on the carpet always does. Here are a few tips from carpet manufacturer Shaw and rug maker and importer Nourison on how to clean your carpets using products you can find around your house.

    RELATED: The Official This Old House Guide to Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

    What You Should Know Before You Start. To remove a stain, simply blot the spot and dry working from the outside in, rinse thoroughly with clean water, then blot again. Never scrub the carpet, or you risk ruining the carpet fibers or letting the spill soak through to the carpet pad.

    For more specific advice, find your type of stain below. In addition to these methods, there are several spot removers on the market; before you

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  • 3 Fast Fixes You Need to Take Care of NOW

    Welcome to March, DIYers! On March 9, it'll be time to change your clocks! But, before spring rain comes, show your gutters some love. And don't stop there! More on gutters, and a couple of other things you should take care of NOW to avoid big homeowner headaches later. -Megan Baker,
    Give your gutters a checkup for SpringGive your gutters a checkup for Spring
    1. Make sure the weight of snow and ice hasn't cracked or detached your gutters, then clear any debris that may cause clogs.

    RELATED: How to Get Rid of Ice Dams (to Prevent Gutter Damage)

    Trim broken branchesTrim broken branches
    2. Snow and ice storms can make weak branches bend and break. Prune injured limbs to help trees heal.

    RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Pruning and Dividing Plants

    Replace batteriesReplace batteries
    3. After turning clocks forward on March 9, remember to replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

    SEE ALL: View the Entire March Checklist at

    Like TOH on Facebook for seasonal how-tip and DIY tips right in your home feed
    Follow TOH and all the TOH TV guys on Twitter

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  • 4 Character-Filled Coffee Tables You Can Build

    Coffee tables are a living room staple, but there's no reason the old standby can't make a statement. Here are building plans for 4 unique designs, from a storage-loaded, cottage-style surface to a rustic, industrial design and more! -Tabitha Sukhai,

    1. Shadowbox Display Coffee Table
    Shadowbox Display Coffee TableShadowbox Display Coffee Table
    A cardboard box buried in the garage is no home for your grandfather's hand tools or your own hard-won collectibles. Why not showcase them properly, in a coffee table with a sunken inset and a removable top that you build yourself? With little more than a few lengths of lumber, some stock legs, and a sheet of acrylic, you'll have a fine piece of furniture that's fittingly handsome for the history on display. See full instructions, tools list, shopping list, and more in How to Build a Display Coffee Table.

    2. Cabinet-Door Coffee Table

    Cabinet-Door Coffee TableCabinet-Door Coffee Table

    Facebook fans of This Old House came up with the idea of turning this found cabinet door into a living room centerpiece. The project will take

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  • 5 Lighting Fixture Upgrades You Can DIY

    Want to brighten up your home? Rethink the way you're lighting it. Lighting fixtures are a small, affordable way to upgrade your rooms and exterior, but DIYers are often reluctant to take on the job. Here are a few ideas and all the how-to information you need to make the improvement yourself. You'll be just fine as long as you remember to cut the power before you get started. -Tabitha Sukhai,

    Swap in a Vintage Light
    Vintage lightVintage light
    Adding a character-filled flea market find is probably easier than you think. All you need is 30 minutes and a few basic tools. See full instructions, tools list, shopping list, and more in How to Swap in a Vintage Light.

    Install a Ceiling Fan
    Ceiling fanCeiling fan
    Aside from illuminating a room, ceiling fans are also a great energy-saving upgrade! In the summer, they reduce strain on air conditioners and in the winter they help circulate heated air back down to where you are. As the Step-by-Step states, though, "Just remember, electrical boxes used for ceiling lights

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  • 6 Quick and Easy DIY Valentine's Day Gifts

    When you were a kid, a handmade Valentine's Day card did the trick. Now that you're all grown up, you might find that nothing says romance quite like ditching the store-bought goods for a return to your DIY roots. Here are 6 popular TOH Step-by-Step projects (complete with tools lists, shopping lists, and all the information you need) to help you create a truly memorable gift for your Valentine. -Tabitha Sukhai,

    Build a Window Box, Fill It with Flowers

    Build a Window BoxBuild a Window Box
    Time: 3 hours (each)
    Custom build these handsome and durable PVC planters to brighten up windows and boost curb appeal. See full instructions, tools list, shopping list, and more in How to Build a PVC Window Box.

    Build and Hang a Romantic Porch Swing
    Build a porch swingBuild a porch swing
    Time: 3 hours
    The best seat (not) in the house for romantic, relaxing time together. See full instructions, tools list, shopping list, and more in How to Build and Hang a Porch Swing.

    Build a Gorgeous Sideboard with Stock Cabinets
    Build a sideboardBuild a sideboard
    Time: 8 hours
    No one would

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