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Incandescents. CFLs. Halogens. Watt? (Sorry, couldn’t help it!)

How to Choose the Right Light Bulb

If you’ve found yourself standing in the light bulb aisle, you might be staring at packages and feeling totally in the dark about what to buy (pun intended). The classic “I’ve got an idea” incandescent bulb has been totally reimagined, yielding an array of unfamiliar products and descriptors. Before you start missing old days, consider that the old bulbs burned 90% of their energy as heat, not light.  Sorry, Edison, but we’ve got more efficient bulbs now, it just takes a little knowledge to purchase the right ones.

Read on for a shopping primer.

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST LIGHT BULBS

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Five years ago this month, my husband and I bought our dream house: an architect-designed seventies modern home nestled into a hillside in the middle of four acres of woods. We knew it would need some updating, but nothing was pressing and the lines of the house were swoon-worthy. We have made a few small changes, but other than the nursery, nothing on the interior has been completely updated. Until now! This week, we started a kitchen renovation.

Marianne Canada Kitchen Inspiration Collage

Of course, I have lots of Pinterest-board inspiration. Watch the video below to see the kitchen “before” and hear what I have planned.

YouTube Preview Image

What is it about spring that makes us want to redo everything in the house? Am I the only one poring over Pinterest? What projects do you have on deck this year?

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You’ve collected 76 paint swatches, have Domino Magazine stacked all over your living room floor and know the HGTV schedule by heart … but you live in a rental! Dun dun dun.

I get it — it’s hard to let your inner designer out when you have an uptight landlord to answer to. So, here’s a round-up of some of the best creative design ideas you can use to upgrade your rental, while also ensuring you get your security deposit back when it’s time to move out. (You’re welcome.)

Upgrade Ideas for Your Rental

1. Temporary wallpaper … that’s not really wallpaper at all. I’m the self-appointed president of the Wallpaper Lovers Club, so when I discovered how easy it was to turn fabric into wallpaper and hang it with starch, it was love at first sight. This “wallpaper” is easy to put up and easy to take down, so your walls stay safe and sound underneath.

2. Faux marble countertops are totally a thing. And believe it or not, you can achieve this look with contact paper! Real marble is gorgeous and wildly expensive, but if you hate the countertops in your rental, you can switch them up easily and inexpensively. You can even choose granite or other stone looks. And who says you have to stop with the countertops? Take this look all the way up the wall and make a faux backsplash if you’re feeling marble-licious.

3. Upgrade your closet doors. I’m not sure why, but closet doors in rentals seem to be universally ugly. It’s like all landlords banded together and decided to strictly enforce a “no pretty closet door” rule. But you can take matters into your own hands by trying a sliding barn door or some faux painted molding.

4. Bling up your fixtures and hardware. There are many things in a rental that you just can’t change, but there are lots of things that are fairly easy to switch up. Here’s a short list: faucets, cabinet pulls, doorknobs, light fixtures and even switch plates. You can simply keep the pieces in a container, and when it’s time to leave — voila! You can take them all with you to your new digs.

How are you customizing your rental? Share your tips and DIY ideas in the comments below.

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I was so inspired by all your DIY nightstand makeovers that I decided to take the plunge: I’m finally ready to give my bedroom dresser a fresh look. Here’s what it looks like right now:

Modern DIY Dresser Makeover Ideas - HGTV Design Blog

With cool midcentury legs and a modern shape, there’s a lot to love. Another bonus: The tall dresser was totally free to me, left behind in the attic by my home’s previous owners. The bad, though? It’s faded and cracked in a couple of places, and the previous user left helpful notes (gloves + mittens! socks + hose! ) in Sharpie on each drawer.

Needless to say, it’s time for a facelift. But what should I do? That, my friends, is the big question. Read on to see my top design options and pick your favorite.

SEE THE OPTIONS + CAST A VOTE

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Wallpaper has made a huge comeback recently. With new trends and styles, the look has far surpassed the country kitchens of yesteryear and is now one of the most sought after design elements on the market. My dilemma is this: I love wallpaper, but I’m a renter. Also, I change my mind constantly, so I tend to stick with flexible and inexpensive decor that I can move around or replace on the reg. So wallpaper is not an option for me, right? Wrong.

I’m sure you already know that temporary wallpaper is a thing, but lately it has become a very popular thing. Because of this, companies are exploding onto the scene with peel-and-stick products that look and feel like the real, stylish stuff you pin and pine over. But if installing temporary wallpaper still seems daunting, some pretty creative folks at HGTV.com have come up with other gorgeous and easy faux-paper methods to try as well. Check out 5 ways to bring the most beautiful and unique wallpaper trends home, sans glue…and commitment!

Peony Perfection

Left: Photo from HGTV | Right: Photo from Tempaper

Can you guess which one is permanent? If you chose the gorgeous green peony wallpaper on the left, you would be correct. Lucky for us, Tempaper, a temporary wallpaper company, makes a gold-leaf peony paper that is self-adhesive, repositionable and totally removable!

See other gorgeous designs from Tempaper.com >>>

Custom Wall Mural

Left: Photo by Erica Riggio, Design by Peter Krsko | Right: Photo by Chelsea Costa

The chic custom mural installation on the left  by D.C. artist, Peter Krsko, is an eye-catching focal point. On the right, designer Chelsea Costa created a similar, yet temporary look with just a computer, poster paper and double-sided tape! Follow Chelsea’s simple instructions on HGTV.com to create your own custom wall mural >>>

Quick tip: To achieve the framed look of the room on the left, frame your temporary mural with trim molding and attach to your wall using large picture hanging adhesive strips.

Learn how to frame with trim molding on DIYNetwork.com >>>

3 More Temporary Wallpaper Ideas to Try

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It’s Friday! And you know what that means? It’s time for another #HGTVWeekend and new, fun projects to cross off our list! Last #HGTVWeekend, we planted an adorable bundt pan succulent garden and relaxed in our very own at-home bathroom spa. It was fabulous!

This weekend, don’t forget to change your clocks as we spring forward into (hopefully) warmer weather and longer days. To honor this unofficial start of spring, the first March edition of #HGTVWeekend is focused on freshening up our homes and our daily routines for an effortless transition into this lovely new season.

If you try out these projects (or tackle some of your own), we want to hear from you! Tag your project photos #HGTVWeekend on Instagram and Twitter and we’ll share some of our favorites right here on Design Happens. And make sure to check back every Friday for more fun to-dos!

What we’re doing with our extra hour of sunlight this weekend:

Cook This: DIY Natural Home Scents

Have you ever put dinner in the slow cooker in the morning and came home to its delicious scent filling the entire house? For this project, HGTV Crafternoon’s Marianne Canada combines natural ingredients like grapefruit and sage in a slow cooker for incredible home scents made from grocery store basics.

How to Make These Scents, Plus More Fun Projects

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You’re unique, so shouldn’t your bathroom be unique, too? With infinite color and style options, tile is a fun way to add interest and appeal. Get inspired by these six creatively tiled bathrooms and say buh-bye to that boring, old water closet.

Create a Theme

Scuba Bath

Design by Roshele Allison & Eric Gedney | Photo by Sam VanFleet

This ocean-inspired powder room designed by Roshele Allison and Eric Gedney is the coolest. Aquatic patterned tile flows from ceiling to floor, mimicking cascading water. When the blue glass countertop lights up, bright hints of blue are highlighted in the tile to make the effect even more striking. It’s like a bathroom aquarium!

Less is More

Waterfall Shower

Design by Sandra & Scott Gjesdahl | Photo by A-Medley Photography

This Asian-inspired bath is as zen as it gets. To maintain an open feel, designers Sandra and Scott Gjesdahl installed a textured glass-tiled plumbing chase in lieu of a dividing wall. And the floor tiles? They’re heated!

More Unique Ways to Tile to Your Bathroom

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HGTV’s Rehab Addict is so…addictive! One reason why? Host Nicole Curtis’ extreme passion for restoring old homes to their original glory, without cutting corners or wasting materials. Whether you’re planning a vintage renovation of your own or are just a fan of the show, read on to learn five of Nicole’s tried and true design mantras.

“Only garbage goes in the dumpster.” – Nicole

Nicole saves EVERYTHING. When a new heating system was installed, this old radiator was repurposed for use as a bedroom shelf! Brilliant! By reusing and recycling, she saves thousands of dollars on her projects and maintains as much of the home’s original integrity as possible.

Check out more ways to reuse and recycle things in your home >>

4 More Design Rules From Nicole

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Spring is officially here as of last week, but unofficially here according to my local weather report. This means we still have time to prep our homes for the upcoming seasons. I think we can all agree it was a less than enjoyable winter (thank you, polar vortex!), and my energy bill certainly saw the effects of that.

There are simple ways you can make your home more energy efficient both inside and outside to lower your bill. How? By outfitting your home with the proper window treatments. Choosing the right ones can help reduce heat loss from your home in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Here are some top picks and their benefits:

Window Awnings

Window Awnings

© Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman; Photography by Edward Addeo

Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain up to 77 percent. They’re not only beneficial to your outdoor space, but they’re stylish, too. For even more protection, choose a light-colored canvas to reflect more sunlight in the coming months.

Blinds

Shutters

Design by Susan Anthony

Window blinds are better at reducing summer heat than keeping out the cold. When interior blinds are completely closed, they can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent. Not bad!

More Money-Saving Tips

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It seems like staircases only get love during the holidays – little pumpkins for Halloween, garland and bows for Christmas, maybe a few Easter baskets in April. But for the rest of the year they’re just an uninspiring way to get from one floor to another. I’m here to argue in favor of year-round stair decor. Here are 10 simple ways to step up your stair game (mhm, you see what I did there?) without major construction.

Cousins Undercover makeover staircase with wallpaper and accent wall
1. Create an accent wall: Paint a bold color and construct a gallery of knick-knacks and photos on the wall behind the stairs, like HGTV’s John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino did to these stairs on Cousins Undercover.

Cousins Undercover apply birch tree wallpaper to stair risers
2. Wallpaper the risers: Apply a fun wallpaper to the risers to add visual interest to otherwise boring stairs. Go for paper with an interesting pattern in a neutral color palette to avoid going overboard.

See 8 more stairway ideas

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You know how you can live with something and think it’s great for years then one day you look at it and decide that it has to go — stat?! Well, that was me and the shower curtain in my guest bath. When I originally bought the Waverly “Norfolk Rose” shower curtain in 2007, I was going for a cozy cottage look and it fit the bill perfectly. Fast forward to 2014 and — while my taste is still traditional — my color preference has shifted to grays and blues and I like my patterns a little more graphic. Thus, the hunt for a new shower curtain commenced.

Here’s a peek of my guest bathroom before:
Cottage-Style Bathroom Before Makeover
See how I updated for less than $25

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Remember that amazing slide-out kitchen pantry featured back in July? It might still be the best kitchen storage idea I’ve come across, but this super smart space-saving pantry runs a really close second. Just look at all that storage, and it barely takes up any space in the house. Wouldn’t it be cute painted in a fun pattern? And I would finally have the space to stock a well-supplied pantry!

space-saving pantry

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I don’t know about you, but if my workspace is a mess, I can’t get any work done. My mind is so busy stressing over the tangled electrical cords and endless piles of magazines that I lose focus on the task at hand. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for home office organization ideas. If your home office is in need of some organizational TLC, try one of our tips:

Organize and Store Electrical Cords
Keep unruly cords organized by using media boxes that are divided into cubbies with scraps of cardboard. Label each section so you won’t confuse cords, and decorate the cardboard with scrapbook paper to keep your space looking chic.

Desk Cord Organizer
Install Open Shelving
Rather than piling magazines and books on your desk, install easy-access shelving to keep your materials at hand. Opt for sleek shelving that matches your office so your storage remains stylish.

Office Shelving
Use Mason Jars as Cubbies
Organize your writing utensils by keeping them in mason jars on your desk. Mason jars are trendy and inexpensive.

Mason Jar Desk Organization

At Comfort Suites® hotels, we’re committed to your success. Spread out in our large contemporary suites and wake up refreshed with a free hot breakfast full of choices. Enjoy free high speed internet access and a 24 hour business center to meet all your office needs. Best of all, it’s provided with friendly service at a reasonable price. Learn more about the amenities or book your stay today.

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I don’t know about you, but if my workspace is a mess, I can’t get any work done. My mind is so busy stressing over the tangled electrical cords and endless piles of magazines that I lose focus on the task at hand. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for home office organization ideas. If your home office is in need of some organizational TLC, try one of our tips:

Organize and Store Electrical Cords
Keep unruly cords organized by using media boxes that are divided into cubbies with scraps of cardboard. Label each section so you won’t confuse cords, and decorate the cardboard with scrapbook paper to keep your space looking chic.

Desk Cord Organizer
Install Open Shelving
Rather than piling magazines and books on your desk, install easy-access shelving to keep your materials at hand. Opt for sleek shelving that matches your office so your storage remains stylish.

Office Shelving
Use Mason Jars as Cubbies
Organize your writing utensils by keeping them in mason jars on your desk. Mason jars are trendy and inexpensive.

Mason Jar Desk Organization

At Comfort Suites® hotels, we’re committed to your success. Spread out in our large contemporary suites and wake up refreshed with a free hot breakfast full of choices. Enjoy free high speed internet access and a 24 hour business center to meet all your office needs. Best of all, it’s provided with friendly service at a reasonable price. Learn more about the amenities or book your stay today.

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The right lighting design can do so much for any room, especially the kitchen. After all, it’s truly the heart of the home. Just picture it. Your kids are doing homework at the table or counter. And you’re cooking dinner for your family and trying to read a difficult recipe – all while helping with geometry. So much time is spent in the kitchen, and so much work is being done. Doesn’t it make sense that the kitchen lighting design should cater to your family’s needs? So whether your life calls for bright natural lighting or atmospheric chandeliers, one of these stylish and functional lighting design ideas is bound to fit your needs.

kitchen lighting

SEE MORE IN DESIGNERS’ PORTFOLIO>>

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I can’t stress enough how important front yard landscaping is. Maybe you’re interested in gaining curb appeal. Or, perhaps you simply want to make your home a place you love seeing when you pull in the driveway. Either way, the front yard is the place to start. So get to work and give your house a chance to make a great first impression.

front yard landscaping

SEE MORE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES FROM DESIGNERS’ PORTFOLIO>>

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The week before a vacation, I typically have one thing on my mind — vacation. I’m dreaming of beachy shorelines and piña coladas. The last thing on my mind is the home I’m leaving behind for a week. Do you too neglect your home with a fabulous vacay on the horizon? Unfortunately, our homes don’t appreciate being neglected. They require a little TLC before they’re left to fend for themselves. Luckily, HGTV Magazine has shared a checklist of things to do before you take off for vacation.

Prep Your Home for Vacation

  1. Never announce you’re away (that means hold the Facebook photos until you’re back!).
  2. Eliminate easy access to your home by locking windows and doors.
  3. Make sure gutters, downspouts, and drains are clear.
  4. Enlist a friend’s help to watch your home.
  5. Flush all the toilets.
  6. Secure the garage and unplug the electric door opener.
  7. Arm the alarms.
  8. Stop all deliveries and pickups (mail, garbage, newspaper, etc.).
  9. Power down small appliances.
  10. Cut the water supply in flood-prone spots.
  11. Trim tree limbs.
  12. Don’t turn off the AC – set it to 82 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid mold and mildew.
  13. Run the dishwasher and leave the dishwasher door open.
  14. Use timers to light your home like you’re there.

 

For a more detailed checklist, read the full article on HGTV.com.

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When I overheard Adventures in Antiquing extraordinaire Camille gave conditioning her hair with beer a try, my first thought was probably similar to what you’re thinking right now: Whaaaat?

As it turns out, your favorite brew may have more uses than just cooling you off after a long day. And with Father’s Day right around the corner and the first official day of summer close behind, you’re bound to have a couple of extra cans of beer hanging around. Just don’t use Dad’s rare, imported stout on your hair or you might have to double up on the Father’s Day gifts this year.

1. Condition your hair. The natural sugars, B vitamins and protein found in beer can give your hair body and shine. Wash your hair as usual, then pour half a can of a warm, flat beer into your hair. Wrap your hair with a towel and wait 10 minutes. For a deep, spa-style condition, carefully heat the towel with hot water before wrapping. Rinse with a cup of apple cider vinegar (didn’t I tell you vinegar was useful?) and water.

2. Take a bath. If you’re already washing your hair with beer, why don’t you just go the extra mile and bathe in it? Add a can of beer to your next bath to create a skin-nourishing soak. Make sure to rinse off well before getting out of the tub.

3. Sleep better. Hops, a staple ingredient in most beers, is said to have properties that help you sleep. If you’ve got hops growing in your garden, try filling a sachet with the dried leaves and tossing it into the washer with your bed sheets.

4. Make a marinade. Serve up a drunk chicken at your next grill party: add a cup of your favorite beer to your usual marinade recipe for a sweet, caramelized flavor. Not sure what to put in your marinade? Try this beer marinade recipe.

5. Bake some bread. Whether you’re serving it with soup or just eating it as a snack, beer bread is delicious. Try this recipe by Good Eats star Alton Brown. Remember: the darker the beer, the more pronounced the flavor will be in the bread.

10 More Amazing Ways to Use Beer

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As a child, my parents could never reveal our summer vacations too early because I would immediately run into my room and start packing. Unfortunately for my loved ones, I’m not any better now – just ask anyone about the “necessities” I pack for vacations or the extensive grocery lists I create for 3-day cabin trips. (“We’re not moving in together, Jessica.”)

Hey, at least I’m prepared.

And with summer finally on the horizon, it’s time for you to prepare your home for the heat of the summer. These items will keep you organized, safe and cool, so you can spend less time worrying and more time at the pool.

A calendar. BBQ at Mom’s. Summer Camp. Disneyland. Wedding. Wedding. Waterpark. Phew! As exciting as all those summer activities can be, they can be difficult to keep track of. Invest in a big calendar, then take a few moments to mark down all the events that you know of. Make sure to put it somewhere your family members will see it – like next to the front door or in the kitchen – and keep a pen or marker nearby so you can add new events to the calendar as they come up.

A new filter. Remember, you need to change the filter in your air conditioning unit every 90 days or so. A dirty filter is not only bad for your health, but will require your AC to work harder to cool your home, quickly increasing your energy bill.

More Summer Must-Haves

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