Blog Posts by CasaSugar

  • How-To: Store Your Household Batteries

    Like humans, batteries are perishable products that deteriorate from the start of their lives. But, like eating well and using SPF, there are a few things you can do to slow their aging. Following an old wives' tale, my grandmother always kept her batteries in the freezer. As it turns out, that's not an ideal place to store them.

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    • Batteries should be kept in a cool, dry place - ideally around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Contrary to my grandmother's practice, Duracell and Kodak agree that batteries should not be kept in the freezer. You can store them in a refrigerator, but to prevent condensation you should keep in them a sealed plastic bag. Definitely do not store them in a warm place; this will inhibit their performance.
    • Whenever possible, keep your batteries in their original packaging.
    • Store batteries with their negative and positive terminals AWAY from each other, so that they're not conducting idly.
    • Keep lithium and nickel-based batteries stored at a 40 percent charge
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  • How-To: Bring Summer Style to Your Fireplace

    Since most of us aren't using our fireplaces this Summer, why not take advantage of them this August by using them for decorating instead of firebuilding? See my favorite ideas for accentuating your fireplace in this last month of Summer. Related Content:Endless Summer DecoratingSummery Seating Opti

  • Love Your City? Say It With Art

    Maybe it's just me, but I've always felt a sense of solidarity with the cities I've lived in and their inhabitants. That feeling - the loyalty, that pitter-patter, and an honest sense of pride - is something I want to share with people. I'm not talking about arguing over the perpetual West Coast vs.

  • DIY: A Fab Photo Wall

    I love this instant-art idea, used in one of the Superior Deluxe Rooms at the Portland Ace Hotel. It also seems like it's begging to be DIYed.

    You can re-create this look by measuring your wall, and then selecting white matting for each photo, and mounting the matted photos along your wall. Or, you can simply use a découpaging technique to fasten the photos to your wall directly. See how to do the latter below.

    1. Measure your wall, and then estimate the number of photos you want to use for each row. Space the photos evenly. You may want to cut out pieces of paper that are the same size as your photos, and then gently tape them to the wall. Experiment until you have the dimensions and spacing that you like the best.
    2. Lightly pencil in the space where each photo should be. Use a ruler, measuring tape, and level to make sure the photos are even.
    3. Lay down a drop cloth or newspaper on the floor below the wall you're covering.
    4. Open up your windows, and make sure the room is well
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  • How-To: Save Money on a Vacation House This Summer

    While most of us have been tightening our belts when it comes to Summer vacations, there are still ways to fit in a getaway before Labor Day arrives. Even if it's just an overnight trip, you'll still reap the benefits of getting away from it all, falling asleep to the sound of crickets or waves, and lounging on the beach for a day.

    Think it's out of reach? Here are my tips for saving money on a vacation house.

    • If you've got a crew of friends or family who you wouldn't mind spending a weekend with, turn your romantic getaway for two into an all-out friends frenzy. Look for a large house through Vacation Rentals by Owner and then split the cost with your friends. The final price tag can be surprisingly small when it's split among several parties.
    • Try Home Exchange. Do you own your home? Then register it with Home Exchange. Essentially, the service allows you to trade your home with that of another party. For instance, if you lived in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los
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  • 10 Chandeliers Made From Everyday Objects

    Who says you have to spend huge amounts of money on a crystal chandelier? There are plenty of objects lying around your house that could provide pretty lighting, given some ingenuity. Take Stuart Haygarth's Tide Chandelier, for example. Composed of man-made debris that washed up on a specific stretch of Kent (England) coastline, Haygarth collected these bits of garbage and turned them into something spectacular. Many of the chandeliers in this slideshow are recycled, upcycled, or just plain ingenious. While some of these chandeliers are for sale, others are DIY projects that you might want to tackle.

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  • 10 Stylish Designer Steals

    While designers like Tord Boontje, Philippe Starck, and George Nelson have been immeasurably influential on the interior design world, their creations are often out of reach for most of us. Luckily, every once in a while you can get a great deal on their classic designs. I know you all love a steal, and even more so when your favorite designers are involved. So, you're in for a treat!

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  • Trend Alert: Multi-Paned Mirrors

    While looking for a mirror to coordinate with a friend's very graphic bedroom dresser, I noticed a developing trend: multi-paned mirrors. Some, like the CB2 Perspective Mirror ($149), have various shapes of mirrored glass, each angled differently to create a carnival "funhouse" effect. Others have v

  • 10 ways to light up the night

    If you're hosting guests or hanging out in your backyard late into the night, you're going to need some illumination. Whether you craft your backyard lighting or buy it, you want to keep your lighting pretty, as well as durable. I've found some lighting choices that provide great ways to add some illumination to your Summer outdoor dining or entertaining experience. See my picks in the gallery below.

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  • Cool Ideas From Metropolitan Home's Modern by Design Showhome

    Public tours of Metropolitan Home's Modern by Design show home in San Francisco kicked off this week. If you don't live in the City by the Bay, hopefully you've had a chance to check out my photos from my sneak preview tour of the home. You can't help but notice that the digs are dripping floor to c


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