• At just 25, Whitney Port already has it made, both as the star of her own show (MTV's "The City") and as a fashion designer at the helm of her own label (Whitney Eve). The leggy blonde also has a plush duplex in trendy downtown Manhattan, on display in the new issue of In Touch Weekly, though doesn'

  • One of the big (and only) drags of summer is dealing with mosquitoes. They're everywhere this time of year, and most repellents out there leave skin coated with a film of icky chemicals that not only seem questionably safe for kids but smell awful too. Though most of us have heard of using citronella to ward off bugs, turns out that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of natural deterrents. Here, an array of pointers to keep mosquitoes away:

    Get rid of standing water sources (which is where female critters like to lay their eggs)-birdbaths, wading pools, and pet bowls should be changed a couple times a week.

    There are certain plants that mosquitoes can't stand the scent of. The list includes catnip, rosemary, citronella grass, lavender, cinnamon, and peppermint-all good things to keep in mind as you're landscaping your backyard.

    Like vampires, mosquitoes are said to be garlic-phobes. Slice a clove in half and rub the cut side on your skin, or mix one part garlic juice

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  • Make Home A Haven takes you on a tour of some unique and unusual homes. Check it out.

    Let's kick things off in a small town called Olalla, Washington. This storybook cottage looks like it's right out of a fairy tale. I love the high peaked and wavy roofline. Hansel and Gretel would probably fit in here, but this place is no fantasyland, it's home to a single owner who runs it as a bed and breakfast. There are 5 stone fireplaces, custom ceilings and unique woodwork everywhere. The sprawling structure sits on 7 and ½ acres where you'll find a 1000-year-old tree that was hollowed out and turned into a tree house. If you want to pay a visit, spend a night or even book your wedding; just check out their website. http://storybookcottageinn.com/Home.html

    If storybook isn't your style how does an actual tree house sound? It's really more of a tree room, a round single room structure beautifully designed by architect Tom Chudleigh. Spherical rooms hang from trees by a web of ropes that

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  • My husband came down with a cold this weekend-one that involves a runny nose and a hacking cough, unfortunately-and I fear our apartment is turning into a germ fest. This morning as I listened to him cough and simultaneously bang away at the very computer I'm typing at now, I realized I really ought to disinfect the keyboard to try and stave off getting sick myself.

    While cleaning your keyboard is one thing, there are slightly different tactics for sanitizing it. I ended up on Apple's website just now, where they outlined some simple but helpful pointers on the subject of the latter (PC users fear not: the advice isn't specific to Macs). You're going to want some Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes handy. Besides those, here's a re-cap of things to know before you dig in:


    Power off your computer. If you've got a wireless keyboard or mouse, remove the batteries.

    If the wipe feels heavily saturated with liquid, wring it out so it's not excessively

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  • Martha StewartMartha StewartOne of the coolest, most foolproof, deeply satisfying DIY projects you can possibly undertake is making you own rope-covered table lamp. Even those of us with utterly minimal crafting capabilities can handle the task (I say this from experience having made one myself a few years ago!). And it's a particularly relevant undertaking now, as rope accents are a huge design trend at the moment, and have a beachy, breezy feel that's just right for the summer.

    Start with a bulbous lamp base. You might even have one lying around that you're sick of looking at in its current state. If not, shop for an inexpensive lamp in a curvy silhouette that appeals to you. Don't worry if you hate the color or pattern-you're going to cover it up.

    The only other tools you need are a hot glue gun and some rope. You'll want to get rope that's fairly thick, since it'll be easier to work with. Choose one in a natural, goes-with-anything fiber like jute or sisal.

    Working your way up from the bottom,

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  • Cher is a master of reinvention. After all, who else can boast winning an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and three Golden Globes, rock a fishnet bodysuit past the age of 40 (her video for "If I Could Turn Back Time" was so risqué even MTV banned it!), and churn out one of the world's best-selling dance singles ever, "Believe," in her 50's? And now, at the age of 64, she's switching tracks again: "I am a Buddhist," she declares in the July issue of Architectural Digest, which features her new, stunning, Zen-like Los Angeles apartment. But lest you think she's lost her edge, she adds, "who should always be in after-school detention."

    Her just-renovated digs reflect her search for serenity. To create a sense of airiness, she gutted the apartment's 12 rooms in favor of an open floor plan: "I always wanted an apartment that was one big bedroom," the star reveals, "because that's really where I live, starting from the days when Sonny and I could only afford one bedroom."

    The space also

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  • Make Home A Haven tours this one-of-a-kind rotating round house. Eight rooms, stunning views and sunlight everywhere. But this Wilton Connecticut home's biggest prize is its unique ability to spin with the touch of a button. It's head turning too, both inside and out.

    The round shape is beautiful to look at, but this spread offers much more. I love the floor to ceiling windows that envelope you in nature and light. The core of the home and its central spiral staircase are stationary; the rest of the house spins. It takes about 48 minutes for one complete rotation, so imagine stepping off the stairs and walking directly into your bedroom one day and into your living room the next. The same variety applies to the outdoors views. Start breakfast overlooking a massive pond and finish breakfast overlooking a serene garden. The round motif continues throughout the house, from the fireplace to the limestone sink in the powder room. There are 3 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. It sits on 4 acres and

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  • By Kimberly Fusaro

    Sure, your rooms look OK at first glance: You finally got rid of that lumpy sofa and own a set of kitchen chairs that don't fold up. But what would an interior decorator have to say about the state of your home? If you suspect your attempts at "mix and match" just look messy or your furniture arrangements are a little too fussy, read on to see if you're committing our experts' top decorating faux pas-and learn what you can do to fix them.

    Faux Pas #1: Ignoring Scale

    Every piece of furniture looks great in the store-but chances are your rooms aren't showroom size. "Measure your space and decorate accordingly," suggests Kenneth Brown, a Los Angeles-based interior designer who sells home decor pieces through QVC. For smaller rooms, ignore your instinct to use a series of diminutive pieces; fewer large-scale pieces will make it seem less busy. On a similar note, consider filling a wall with a single large painting, rather than a group of smaller frames. "It

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  • As it turns out, the secret to keeping appliances running smoothly is cleanliness-or at least that's what Kirby Mills, owner of At Your Service Appliance Repair in Kansas City, Missouri, tells The New York Times, having seen hundreds of appliances malfunction due to "goo, dust, and gunk" every year. I learned this the hard way a couple months ago when my dishwasher stopped working, only to discover later (following a very expensive visit from a repairman) that the problem was simply a filter that needed to be rinsed. It really doesn't take much time or effort to clean appliances, and doing so can extend their lifespan by years. Here's a re-cap of how to best go about this:

    Dishwasher: Take out the racks. Check the corners and the rubber lining around the door for cracks and food residue. Clean out both with a sponge and plastic-bristled brush (don't use metal as it can damage the machine). Consult the owner's manual and remove the spray arms and wash them with soap and water. If

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  • Rowenta USARowenta USA

    On Design Sponge just now I saw a video made by iron purveyor Rowenta starring Lotta Jansdotter, an artist and textile designer based in Brooklyn. In it, she offers a tutorial on an incredibly simple method for printing cloth right at home-which would actually make an excellent DIY project to tackle with your kids.

    All you need is a potato or two, some ink, cloth, and an iron. Halve the potatoes, which you'll later use as stamps. Run your iron over the fabric to create a smooth surface-you want it to be nice and even before you start printing. Next, apply ink onto the cut side of the potato, and press firmly onto the cloth. Repeat as many times as you like, and don't worry at all about making things symmetrical. Little ones are great for executing this step, as Jansdotter's adorable 3 year-old son August demonstrates in the video. Later, once the fabric has had a chance to dry, iron it again-the heat helps set the dye. You can use the material to stitch a basic a shopping tote,

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