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Shutters keep prying eyes out of your home, but if you want all eyes on your decor, shutters can come in handy there, too. Old shutters are a surprisingly versatile craft material and you can repurpose them without much effort. These crafts are just a few ways you can turn old shutters into something unexpected and chic.

6 Old Shutter Crafts That Are Surprisingly Chic

If you like a headboard with height, Layla Palmer’s clever use of old shutter doors here should appeal to you. The coastal cottage vibe is perfect for quaint country havens and sunny beach houses alike. Find all the DIY instructions here.
MORE CHIC OLD SHUTTER CRAFTS

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There’s no such thing as sibling rivalry for sister publications HGTV Magazine and Food Network Magazine. These two know how to work together, and work together well! Their May issue covers will feature the best of what both teams have to offer. For Food Network, that means whipping up some delicious treats, and for us at HGTV, well, we know how to decorate for a gorgeous party.

party spread

Watch as the magic unfolds at our joint cover shoot in this exclusive behind-the-scenes video.

Exciting stuff, right? Get the recipes, and find info on how to recreate the scene yourself in the May issues of Food Network Magazine and HGTV Magazine, which hit newsstands 4/15 and 4/8 respectively.

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Jennifer Brake with Kitchen Cousins

Cue collective swooning at HGTV headquarters.

Employees lined the Food Network Kitchen as Kitchen Cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri stopped by our Tennessee office for a quick tour of the building before they host the “Raise a Roof” benefit concert to raise money for Rebuilding Together Knoxville here tomorrow night.

As a national organization, Rebuilding Together rallies volunteers and provides home repairs and accessibility modifications to low-income homeowners at no charge to them. The concert will help more Knoxvillians have a safe and healthy place to call home. It’s similar to the Cousins’ newest show Cousins Undercover, where they secretly overhaul a neighborhood hero’s home with the help of the community.

Cute and philanthropic? It just really doesn’t get any better than that.

More photos from their visit

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BRIANA: We’ll call this one “Defend the Downward Trend”: The microwave is a kitchen staple, but Jessica alerted me to the news that its sales in the U.S. have been flagging for almost a decade. How do you feel about microwaves? Are you attached to your “science oven” or are you more into toaster ovens? Do you think they’re an ugly waste of kitchen real estate or would you be lost without one?

Would  you miss your microwave?

FARIMA: I am a stove/toaster oven girl. I can’t remember the last time I used a microwave  — I’ve even switched to making popcorn on the stove (It’s so much tastier than microwaveable popcorn!) If it wasn’t built in, I would definitely get rid of it!

KERI: I’ll be the first to admit that I mostly just use my microwave for heating up water for tea in the morning. If I didn’t have it, I guess I’d just move right along to the stove. Plus, this year, I finally learned to pop popcorn over the stove. (Farima’s right: SO much tastier and healthier, too!) Wait, why do I have a microwave again? Oh wait, I steam vegetables in there, too. It has a purpose!

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: I’m with Farima. Ours came with the house and I rarely use it. I say take it out and bring back the appliance garage.

MORE HEATED DEBATE ABOUT MICROWAVES

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You guessed correctly if you chose option C. Designer Brian Thompson of Thompson Custom Homes included a rustic chandelier in this outdoor dining space for an elegant touch while dining alfresco.

Rustic Outdoor Dining Room

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Aparna is the winner of this month’s issue of HGTV Magazine, an HGTV mug and HGTVGardens.com plant markers. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space.

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When I moved into my first apartment too many years ago to admit, my stepfather gifted me with a toolbox full of all his “doubles.” Later when my brother moved to a tropical island, he handed down his steel toolbox to me and I was thrilled. I truly love my trusty tool kit and even love sorting through it to find just the right instrument for a given job. My toolbox and the tools in it are feeling their (20+ years) age, however. So I’m daydreaming about replacing everything with tools that help me make the fixes around my home and are beautiful to boot.

Not only are these tools functional, but they’re even gorgeous enough to display — maybe on a magnetic strip? I love how self-referential the wood handles are and the care that was clearly taken in designing and crafting them. But tell me: am I alone in my handylady desires? Or are you a fixer with an enviable tool set, too?

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From tie dye to dip dye, the art of hand dying has been enjoying quite a design moment for the last several years. The methods for making some of these intoxicating prints are in some cases quite ancient and absolutely intricate to say the least. Unlike many of the other trends to reemerge in the last decade, the hand dyed decor of today isn’t remotely close to the type of tie dye you might remember having donned in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead concert in the nineties or as a flower child during the days when love was free. Modernity has given much of this artistic expression a monochromatic twist that makes this look quite easy to adopt and bring into the fold of your everyday decor.

Dye

Image Credits: 1 | 2

With their dye resist techniques and hand applied stitching to create these incredible patterns, the artists who practice Shibori have begun to embrace new outlets for their craft in the way of home décor and wallpapers, rather than the more traditional items of the past, and the result is absolutely breathtaking. It brings the art of tie dye into a very modern place when it’s done with such intention and intensity and the detail that can be found on many of these pieces is mind boggling.

Dye

Image Credits: 3 | 4

Perhaps a reason for such a long moment of celebration in the design world is the chameleon like nature of the designs themselves. One pattern might lend itself to a more global boho scene while another brings a decidedly edgy rock n’ roll mood to a space. Virtually all of them suggest something of a slightly vintage quality, and whether that will be interpreted as a seventies or eighties leaning vibe is utterly dependent upon the context.

Dye

Image Credits: 5 | 6

This is one of those trends that is difficult not to like in some form or another. If the eighties with its neon and bedazzled jeans wasn’t quite your thing, then perhaps you are the more cultural variety who prefers their long walks on the beach in a more exotic locale? Well lucky you, because it just so happens that this hand dyed trend caters to a global inspired look just as beautifully as it does to a young and vibrant look. These hand dyed pieces bring a bit of that well-traveled yet effortlessly chic style to any space whether it be modern and minimal or retro chic and cozy, these pieces seem to fit right in regardless.

So, I’m curious, have you tried your hand at any of these dying techniques? I would love to know how it turned out and which style is your fave, or if you have yet to find the fun in this trend.

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I’ll be the first to admit that a bar cart is not even big enough to house our stash of whiskey, so when I was asked to style a bar cart for Spring House, my immediate thought was: Party! In the spring our get-togethers usually involve lawn games and lemonade, in which case a bar cart on the front porch is a perfect solution or in my case a “faux bar cart.” You see, the idea behind a bar cart is to have all cocktail items in one consolidated space, which means if you don’t have a “bar cart” you can easily just pick a side table and use the same small-space techniques. Here’s what I did to style our casual “faux bar cart”:

Define the space.

First things first. To define this “faux bar cart” space, I pulled out my favorite side table. Because carts usually have two levels, one for the main cocktail mixings and another to hold extra bottles and such, I got this metal bucket to put underneath and stow bottled beverages. Finally, to define the space, I bought tissue paper in spring colors and made a garland to call out the space for guests. (Learn how to make your own tissue paper tassel garland.)

Faux Bar Cart Ideas

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It was a normal Wednesday. I had a normal breakfast. Then, Yahoo web trend expert Lauren Whitehouse emails me saying users are searching for waffles and pancakes. At this time, it’s barely 11 a.m. and all I can think about is raiding the nearest Waffle House (I know). Over the past 30 days, there’s no denying which food takes home the win on the Yahoo front; users are searching for pancake recipes six times more than waffles. But I’m curious – what do Design Happens readers prefer when it comes to waffles and pancakes? It sounds like a simple dilemma, but I’ll let these mouthwatering recipes help with your decision, starting with waffles.

The Waffle: A Tried and True Breakfast Staple

Classic Waffle Recipe

Get the recipe for classic crispy waffles >>

Chicken and Waffles Recipe

Get the recipe for chicken and waffles >>

You Decide: Waffles Vs. Pancakes

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I decided to grow my own vegetable garden a couple of years ago — and despite a lot of trial and error (and I mean a lot) — I’m pretty happy with it. Kale is a new and favorite addition to my garden this year— it’s crazy and a little scary how different fresh veggies taste. So, what about you? Have you tried your hand at vegetable gardening?

If you plan to start a vegetable garden this year, your best option is a raised garden bed. A raised bed prevents weeds and some pests from reaching the soil while providing good drainage. Plus, it extends growing season because soil above ground is warmer, and it prevents gardeners from straining their backs.

Raised Garden Bed

Making a raised bed is really easy — if I can do it, you can do it! All you need are a few tools and landscape wood. I had my local home improvement store cut wood to size. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions to build your own bed. Get the full instructions here>>

And to help you get started on planting, follow our easy steps on how to grow potatoes, which grow best through summer. Get the full instructions here>>

Happy Gardening!

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