High-Tech Tips for Securing Your House While You're Away

Burglars can watch for indications that homeowners are on an extended trip, so one of the best ways to keep your home protected is to prevent strangers from knowing you are off. Most are well known: Place a couple of lights on timers to go on at night and off at night. (Leaving them on all night and day can signal your lack.) Park your vehicle in the driveway, instead of keeping it in the garage or on the road. Place a temporary halt to your newspapers and mail shipping.

New technology will help, too. Here some high-tech tips for taking home security to another level as you’re traveling.

Maintain Your Social Media Posts Private

One way some crooks may learn you’ll be off is on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You may post about your adventures abroad on social networking, but make sure your posts are not public. Public posts are accessible not only for friends of your friends and other strangers, but they really get found on search engines, allowing burglars to search for goal houses.

Avoid posting about your lack on Twitter unless you are among the minority that lock their account. (To turn on this feature, pick the “Shield My Tweets” option in Settings.)

The ill-advised broadcasting of travel is so common on Twitter that a guy made a website called Please Rob Me, which reveals people that are openly broadcasting the fact that they’re not at home via their Twitter and Foursquare check-ins.

Facebook is another significant website where thieves can learn that you are not in your home. To protect yourself and brag on your travels, click the equipment icon in the upper-right corner. Just click “Privacy” in the left navigation bar, then to the right of “Who will see my stuff?” Choose a listing that includes only the narrow group that you want to talk about with. (you might need to first install family or friends lists before doing so.)

About Google+ just address your articles to narrow circles, such as “Family” and “Friends,” and do not post to “Public” or “Extended Circles.”

Also be careful about location-based check-in sites like Foursquare, which may broadcast your location even if the content of your article is unrelated. If a person knows where you reside, a check in a different city is proof enough that you are away for a short time.


Digitize It, View, Then Click to Shred

If you go to a long journey or travel frequently, one option to putting a halt to your mail is to get it digitized and made accessible for you online.

The best service for digitizing mail is called Earth Class Mail. The company gives you a new mailing address, and you also use that address for many of your invoices and other mail.

When staffers get your mail, they post images of the envelopes in the Virtual Mailroom, which you may see in a safe area on the website. You can browse the digital envelopes and just click to shred the original paper versions, scan the inner contents or forward the bodily envelopes to another address. Should you scan them, a couple of days later the inner contents will appear online, and you’re able to read and cope with them. (Read Earth Class Mail’s security and privacy policy here.) Note that each scanned letter prices an additional charge.

Earth Class Mail can even deposit checks into your bank account, under the right circumstances, and for an additional fee of $20 per check or $34.95 a month for unlimited checks.

The ceremony is nice, however there are two drawbacks. To begin with, it’s a devotion: You need to officially change your speech as in the event that you’ve transferred. Once you’ve done that, it’s a nontrivial job to cancel the service and change back.

Second, Earth Class Mail is expensive. Even though the least-expensive service is $20 a month, the company will probably nickel-and-dime you into paying much more. A couple of scans here, a couple of checks there, and pretty soon you are paying far more than the base fee.

One way to save money with Earth Class Mail is to use its $19.95 mail forwarding service. It’s the same money as the bottom price for the Virtual Mailroom, however there are no additional costs involved. You merely give the address where you are going to be and when you are going to be there, and that’s where your mail will show up.

And an alternative to Earth Class Mail is only now emerging. A startup called Outbox promises to make the digitization of your mail much simpler and less costly.


Outbox really sends someone to your house three times per week to pick up your mail, so you don’t need to officially change your speech. The company then scans it and sets it online for you. An easy check box unsubscribes you from whatever you consider junk mail. If there’s mail you actually do want, you can check another box, and it will be redelivered for your residence. And all this for only $5 per month.

At this time the service is available only in San Francisco; it had a limited trial in Austin, Texas. The company plans to announce additional cities in the future.

Turn a Smart Phone Into a Safety Camera

One way to keep your home safe is to install motion-detection security cameras. Unfortunately, these may be costly, particularly in the event that you need them only a couple of times annually.

My favorite trick is to use old smart phones and tablets for a free and effective security system. All you need is a device capable of shooting a photo, connecting to the net and running programs. If you are like some gadget fans, you have got a box full of these somewhere.

Here’s how you do it.
Download an program which will upload images when motion is detected. My favorite iOS program for this purpose is MDC Free (MDC stands for “motion detection camera”). It’s simple to prepare the program to upload some motion-detection photos to Facebook — but shared only on your own. There are numerous programs in Google’s Play Store for Android and Apple’s App Store for iOS which you may pick from. Some send images via email. Other folks place them elsewhere. It’s a good idea to download a few highly rated ones and try them out. Once you’ve got an program you prefer, change your telephone’s Auto-Lock feature (which turns off your telephone after a specific number of minutes) to Never, which means that your phone doesn’t go to sleep. Set up each iPhone, iPad or Android device that you would like to use so it’s plugged in and the camera is directed in the room, door or area that you want captured if somebody comes in. Ensure that you test it a couple of times. And you are done! While you’re off, if anybody comes into your house, you’ll not only be notified, but you are going to have images of their crooks and proof of their crime.

Lockitron – $179

Control Your Door

If you are going to be off for a while, you may want people to test on the house, feed the goldfish, water the plants, that sort of thing. However, you may not wish to be handing keys out to people.

A nice alternative is your Lockitron door lock in Agipy. It functions like any other lock. The distinction is that you can lock and unlock it remotely with an app, even if you’re out of town.

You can also send virtual “keys” over the world wide web, allowing somebody to unlock your doorway using a smart phone. Those keys may have expiration dates, so in the event that you would like a person to confirm the house only on Wednesday, the key won’t operate on Thursday.

Likewise, if a person needs to enter your house for some sudden purpose as you’re off, you may use Lockitron to unlock your door remotely via the smart-phone program. Or you could send a key via SMS or email.

Lockitron even offers a knock sensor. If someone knocks on your door, then you can receive a notification.


DoorBot – $189

If crooks suspect you are not home, they’ll frequently test that theory by simply ringing your doorbell to see if anyone answers. One new product, known as the Edison Junior DoorBot, lets you answer the door even if you’re on the other side of the world.

When someone rings the bell, then you’ll find an alert to your phone. By employing this smart-phone program, you can view who is there via the DoorBot’s built in camera and speak with them over your telephone and through the DoorBot’s speaker and microphone.

By blending DoorBot using the Lockitron, you can see who is there, speak to the individual and let her or him in the house. Or, if it’s somebody you don’t want in your residence, the individual will presume you are there because you are answering the doorbell over what seems to be an intercom system. Or you may call the authorities.

Best of all, DoorBot can be a helpful addition to a front door even when you’re not traveling.

More: 10 low-tech ways to keep your home safe while you travel

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8 Awesome Ways to Splurge With Silk

Silk’s roots result in an enchanting background. As the story goes, a Chinese empress was sipping tea under a mulberry tree when a silkworm’s cocoon fell into her cup and started to unravel to a gorgeous shimmering thread. Since then the Chinese have used silk cloth for clothes, arts and decor.

The cloth has become a staple in the house for lampshades, rugs, draperies, upholstery, wallpaper, art, pillows and much more. The intensive production process makes this a treasured and expensive textile, though it has come down in price over the years. Nowadays most silk averages $25 to $45 per yard.

See if any of those terrific examples of silk in today’s houses would get the job done for you.

Wall coverings. Silk wall coverings add elegance to any room — and often fall to the eco friendly category too. Wolf Gordon’s silk is antimicrobial, antibacterial and rapidly renewable, also it’s a low carbon footprint and contains recycled content.

Terri Symington, ASID

Window remedies. The appearance of silk window treatments can’t be replicated by imitation silks. To attain the luxurious effect exhibited here, the draperies will need to be lined with flannel. There are several reasons for lining: The draperies look better and hang fuller, with a magnificent, rich and abundant appearance; the lining protects the silk from sunlight, which makes it last longer; and lining also provides a fantastic insulating material layer.

Watch more about drapery linings

LDa Architecture & Interiors

Lighting. A silk color gives this ceiling lighting a beautiful glow. Pure silk sunglasses are obviously much more expensive than synthetic ones, but they add a layer of richness.

Terri Symington, ASID

Rugs. When silk is woven to a wool carpet, its unique sheen contrasts beautifully with the wool and gives the carpet a gentle hands. Silk’s prism-like fibers represent light in several different angles.

ROMABIO / Interior & Exterior Mineral Based Paints

Upholstery. Historically, French bergére chairs were upholstered in silk. Silk may be delicate, so you may want a backing applied when using it for your upholstery. Silk also stains easily, so don’t use it in eating spaces or heavily used areas.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

Silk velvet. Silk thread woven into darkness was so expensive, only royalty could afford it. It’s still expensive now, averaging $200 per yard. Silk velvet has a beautiful soft drape and a polished coating. The fabric is so soft the rest dries readily, leaving a mark or impression — a feature that defines the velvet as being made of silk. Because of this, not iron velvet, since it will crush the fibers and leave an imprint which often can’t be removed.


Blue Sari Tapestry – $860

Art. Silk’s jewel-like appearance works well for art and tapestries. Avoid hanging silk art where sunlight will strike it, since it is going to fade. For framing silk, then use museum glass to conserve the silk best.

Timothy De Clue Collection & Design

Pillows. Cotton includes a lavish, sensual sense that makes it a fantastic fabric for cushions in the living area or bedroom. It may be washed in cold water and air dried, but it is going to fade, so dry cleaning is suggested. Some fabric protectant sprays can prevent soil and stain penetration, but be sure to test the spray on an inconspicuous area first.

Tell us: how can you use silk in your home decoration?

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Cremone Bolt

A cremone bolt secures a door or window using a surface-mounted vertical rod. The turn of a handle raises or lowers the rod into a secured position at the bottom or top of the door. This conventional mechanism is not uncommon on French doors and casement windows, but it is not as secure as contemporary locks and is chiefly used inside.

Emily Winters, Peabody’s Interiors

Mounted on the surface rather than internally, the cremone bolt is more decorative than secure.

Emily Winters, Peabody’s Interiors

A cremone bolt has vertical rods that slide into a secured position with the turn of a handle.

Door pairs don’t always have a cremone bolt on both the doors; the more lively door can be easier to operate with a sliding bolt.

360 Yardware

This surface-mounted security bolt is similar to the cremone bolt, but the rod does not run the length of the door. A flush bolt is the contemporary equivalent of this, but it is recessed into the door and hidden from view.

Actual Carriage Door Company

Dutch Doors

This sliding bolt is especially designed for Dutch doors.

360 Yardware

Another frequent bolt, revealed procuring the bottom of this gate, is called a cane bolt, due to its shape.

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8 Suggestions Out Of Celebrated Garden Designers

The Chelsea Flower Show is an Yearly celebration of everything garden held in the grounds of the Chelsea Royal Hospital in London. Aside from its showcase of new plant types and various furniture and ornamentation pieces to groom your backyard with, you will find expansive gardens that overflow with ideas for your very own little storyline. Surprisingly, the show lasts for only five days — that is difficult to believe when you see the degree of detail and sophistication in the show gardens created by designers from all around the world.

I made the trek throughout the pond this season and came back totally inspired and itching to execute some of these ideas in upcoming projects. The following is a collection of images from the 2012 show that highlight various techniques that could work in your own garden.

Matt Kilburn

Contrasting background colours. Contrast is king in backyard spaces. Many times, comparison can be created by various hardscape and softscape elements, but care should be paid to colour tones also. Inside this backyard by Andy Sturgeon, a wealthy, dark gray wall provides the perfect backdrop to highlight the contrasting colours and types of the foliage in front.

Matt Kilburn

Incorporating industrial materials. Cor-Ten steel is now a remarkably common material in the backyard. Its colour tone contrasts beautifully with the surrounding foliage in this backyard space made by John Warland and Sim Flemons. The stuff’s weathered feel makes for interesting shadows throw from trees.

Matt Kilburn

Form meets function. Constructed attributes can function as a fantastic focal point in a garden whilst at the same time adding function to a distance. Inside this backyard by Jason Hodges, plush outdoor furniture integrates into the landscape that a cantilevered dining area table protruding out of a retaining wall.

Matt Kilburn

Outdoor relaxation. Who wouldn’t want to curl up with a novel in this concealed hammock space? Have a cue from this distance by Jo Thompson — hammocks are a great way for lounging when space is constrained.

Matt Kilburn

Low-maintenance lawn substitutes. Meadow gardens were a big fad at this year’s show, popping up in both conventional and more abstract software. Meadow gardens are a great low-maintenance alternative to yards, since they need much less water and upkeep. Paths could be cut through the meadow for access, and the flowers simply reseed themselves.

Matt Kilburn

Classical thoughts in modern settings. Pleached hedges, a classical form of living architecture resembling hedges on stilts, are making a comeback in modern garden design. This backyard by Arne Maynard efficiently utilizes pleached hedges to make enclosure farther down the path whilst enabling garden beds to flow seamlessly through the backyard.

Matt Kilburn

Controlling movement throughout the backyard. How you move throughout the backyard is an important consideration. Breaking up a path with stepping stone, like in this backyard by Chris Gutteridge, is a fantastic way to encourage visitors to slow down and revel in the environment.

Matt Kilburn

Smart spatial solutions. Inside this backyard, Jason Hodges found a fantastic solution for a challenging angle transition from the stairs into the paving stone. The brink planting of black mondo grass adds an intriguing contrasting feel to the room and complements the colour tones of the spiky phormiums in the backdrop.

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Fashion Week Heads Home

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicked off on Feb. 9 to flaunt fashion designers’ ready-to-wear lines for fall and winter 2012. Allow me to just say, I am inspired. I am seeing so much crossover to interior trends, especially from designers who have a foothold in both areas, such as Kelly Wearstler and Diane von Furstenberg.

Because the ranges are for the colder months, we’re seeing a great deal of neutrals and dark colours in addition to saturated hues (like Pantone’s color of this calendar year, tangerine) having lots of texture. But each designer has put his or her own twist on the demonstration of the colours.

Amoroso Design

Touch-me textures. Velvets, silks and other rich textures are all on the runways, and Diane von Furstenberg’s fall 2012 collection is no exception. Rich hues and rich textures — what a mix. This trend will certainly continue to trickle down to insides.

Laux Interiors Berlin

Plumroll, please. Everyone from Kelly Wearstler into Christian Siriano is yanking plum to the mix. Wearstler combines the rich colour with blue to fantastic effect, while Siriano retains it tame with a monochromatic palette and Peter Som ramps it up with a plethora of textures.

Andrea Schumacher Interiors

Knockout color blocking. Make bold colours stick out by giving them equal focus. You can not go wrong using plums, pinks and reds with a pop of yellow or green, as seen in Diane von Furstenberg’s fall 2012 collection.

Camilla Molders Design

Tangerine and turquoise? Why not, asks Kate Spade. I could not agree more.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti

Tangerine fantasy. Work that color of this year in with a variety of mixes, as Lisa Borgnes Giramonte does in this inside. Fashion label Honor has made it deep and brooding in its fall line, while Kate Spade keeps it fresh and preppy in hers.

Elad Gonen

The sport of risk. Some people just take risks, and Kelly Wearstler is one of these individuals. She surely pushes the limits in her insides, constantly shifting styles and exploring new land. She pushed a limit by simply trying her hand at fashion (it is not always easy to cross over), and while she’s met any resistance, I state forge on, woman. While it’s said that green and blue should”never be viewed,” with all the right mix of colour and saturation, they could actually be quite enchanting.


Neutral land. Perhaps not a daring person? Follow Wearstler’s guide without compromising texture, layers or thickness, as seen in this search for fall 2012. The richness easily translates to the home, as may be seen in SFGirlByBay’s light-flooded, feminine but grounded living room.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Gray and black never go out of style in my book. Keep staple neutrals new with texture and even some pattern. Thakoon and Derek Lam will inform you.

Niche Interiors

New neutrals. Obviously, neutral does not necessarily have to mean beige, gray or greige. Pinks have a way of feeling neutral, especially when blended with brown, which adds a sophisticated edge to the girly-ness of pink. Joy Cioci and Herve Leger by Max Azria elevate soft pinks with a play of textures, patterns and subtle dark undertones.

Red and brown. If you have got a predominantly neutral palette that drops to the brown family at home, and you’re ready to liven it up but are not certain where to begin, think about following Tribune Standard’s guide by bringing in a healthy dose of red. The appearance will stay neutral but will feel fresh and subtly colorful.

If that idea frightens one to no end, bring into a single reddish element and see how you feel. The reddish Sputnik pendant in Mark Cravotta’s job works superbly without making the room feel overly edgy.

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

Blue and black. An often overlooked but absolutely valid mix, black and blue leaves people stop and think. Prabal Gurung employes it to great effect in this fall look, and I think that it translates superbly for the home. If you have already got the groundwork in place (a blue carpet, sofa or drapes ) introduce black accessories or seats and tables with black frames.

Perhaps you have pulled a look in the runway in to your home design? Tell us how you made it work at the Comments section.

More Fashion-Forward Tips:
Gianni Versace Style
Coco Chanel Style
Ralph Lauren Style

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Geometric Runners Shape Stairway Style

Since rounding up my preferred striped stair runners, I haven’t been able to have runners off my mind. And I have come to the conclusion that I love geometric-patterned runners just as much as striped ones. Stair runners in general are great for injecting colour and pattern into an interior whilst at the same time protecting high-traffic stairways. Patterned runners in particular hide dirt and wear and tear exceptionally well while bringing snowball into almost any style space.

Exactly like a striped runner, a geometric-patterned runner could be set up in two different fashions: Hollywood and waterfall. Even a Hollywood runner hugs each nook and cranny of a staircase, with the carpeting affixed to the tread, round the nose and to the riser. A waterfall runner drops directly from the nose of the tread to the rear of the next tread without being affixed to the riser face in between. Either fashion accommodates a bold geometric pattern beautifully.

Which geometric-pattern fashion runner could you choose for your home’s staircase?

Uma Stewart Interiors & Lifestyle

I appreciate when a stairway’s carpeting choice is tied into the plan of the home’s surrounding areas. Inside this entryway, the runner’s geometric pattern functions beautifully with the inlay strips in the hardwood flooring.

Brian Watford Interiors

The Ember Ring runner is extra wide to accommodate all these wide actions.

Busy geometric patterns hide dirt and wear and tear, making them ideal for high-traffic areas like staircases.

Zoe Feldman Design, Inc..

Large-scale geometric patterns have the ability to make spaces feel grander. David Hicks’ Hexagon House stair runner provides pattern and height for the penthouse in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Michael Robert Construction

A navy and white geometric-patterned stair runner, held in place by stair rods capped with pineapple finials, is the best accessory to this coastal home.

Jute Interior Design

Installed in the Hollywood style, this runner follows the shape of the stair. The dark brown geometric rug was stapled underneath and around the nose of each tread.

MANDARINA STUDIO interior layout

Installed in the waterfall fashion, this carpeting flows down the stairs, tacked where necessary.

A dark brown and cream geometric-patterned stair runner, held in place by stair rods, functions flawlessly within this traditional Long Island, New York, home.

Gast Architects

This geometric-patterned carpet is affixed to the riser, which classifies it as a Hollywood-style runner. Installing a runner in this manner prevents dust and dirt buildup behind the collapse of the carpeting.


Geometric patterns can be very coastal chic. In cream and sand, this beach cabin’s staircase screams beachfront elegance. Note that the runner is fit to the stairs and continues round the small landing.

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Modern Icons: The Paulistano Chair

Architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha designed the Paulistano Athletic Club in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1957, and his attention to detail contained designing this seat because of its living areas. Following that, it was a sight before the design was rereleased by Objekto in 2004. Following Mendes da Rocha received the Pritzker Prize in 2006, the seat became available in the USA for the first time. Keen aesthetes have been snapping it up with enthusiasm ever since, demonstrating its timelessness. The Museum of Modern Art has added the seat to its permanent collection; test it out and see whether you’d like to follow suit.

YLAB Arquitectos Barcelona

Designed through the midcentury modern era, the Paulistano has a thoughtful combination of sling and frame that seems as contemporary as anything else on the market today.


Paulistano Armchair | Espasso

The Paulistano seat is created from a single 17-foot-long piece of strong phosphatized carbon steel and a leather match. Both substances age in their unique and stunning ways.

But if treating the seat’s frame with just a little WD-40 each six weeks or so is not for you, it is also available in polished chrome.

Design Within Reach

The easy sling silhouette doesn’t take up much space from front, back or side. It’s uncommon for such a cozy lounge chair to take up so small visual distance. This means it may work well in small spaces and sit facing windows without blocking a lot of the opinion.

Laura U, Inc..

This designer balanced a set of Paulistanos across from a larger upholstered armchair.

Economy Interiors

The seat’s portability means it is a fantastic choice for a room which needs seating versatility; you can move chairs into intimate clusters for conversation while entertaining or set them toward the TV for movie night or the game.

PLACE architect ltd..

Florense USA

Like most chairs in a fantastic permanent set, it can make its way all over the house. Swap it in your bedroom if you want an occasional seat; you’ll want to respect it, so it should motivate you to keep those clothes put away rather than draped on the seat.

Design Within Reach

Paulistano Armchair in Canvas – $1,250

A cotton canvas variant comes in bright colors and lends a more casual look. The Twist is waterproof and stain resistant, so you can use it outside also.

Poul Kjærholm’s PK22 Easy Chair

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Bliss Out on Your Toilet: 18 Ways to 'Spa Up' Your Toilet

True confession: Sometimes when I want a break from work, I look up the most luxurious spas out there and emphasise I have a trip planned. Truth means that the trip would max out my credit cards, so instead I attempt to bring a number of that spa style residence. Though a number of the baths on are larger than my bedroom, others seem to be considerably larger than they are. Today we’ll have a look at lessons we could remove from spa-like baths to use to our own, whether that means a complete bathroom remodel, replacing a vanity or just picking up some new towels. Listed below are 18 ways to deliver spa fashion to your home.

NB Design Group, Inc

1. Add wood accents. Wood slats offer this minimalist room a relaxing Asian feel.

Rockefeller Partners Architects

2. Reflect character with materials. Natural textures such as stone and wood breathe life into a bathroom. A pebbled tile flooring feels amazing underfoot.

When a brand new floor isn’t in your budget anytime soon, treat yourself to a pebble bath mat.

Carpets and Beyond Design Studio

3. Float the vanity. These vanities allow the flooring expand all the way to the walls and give the room a more open atmosphere.

ZAK Architecture

4. Open the vanity. As long as you are using it only for storing items that could seem neat, such as towels or products corralled in baskets, an open vanity makes things seem bigger.

Betty Wasserman

5. Use crisp white. Nothing says “relaxing spa” such as light and bright ceilings and walls.

Hint: Rolled-up towels how you see here is quintessential spa.

Switch Collaborative

6. Create continuity. Continuous light tile from floor to ceiling makes the room look bigger.

Giambastiani Design

7. Use glass. Another element that creates continuity is transparency. It makes the bath look a lot larger and retains a shower stall from visually chopping up the bathroom design.

8. Sink the bathtub. Stepping down into a bath recalls stepping right into a whirlpool after a spa massage.

A Collaborative Design Group

9. Insert a fireplace. This version is two sided and could be enjoyed from two rooms.

Logue Studio Design Inc..

10. Choose a fashionable toilet. “Stylish toilet” is no more an oxymoron. Hatbox styles, wall-mounted versions and infamous Japanese versions that do a lot more than flush are just some of the many choices on the market.

Meet the New Super Toilets

11. Open the view. Obviously, this is a very striking example, but even a small window in your shower stall or adjacent to the bathtub will let you relax and look outside while rinsing or soaking.

Abueg Morris Architect

12. Let natural lighting in. If your bathroom’s location means opening the view would turn into an exhibitionist, choose glass that lets in the light but disappoints the peeping Toms.

Amelie de Gaulle Interiors

13. Decide on a vessel sink. This is a good chance to add a pure feel like stone. If you are trying to keep things clean and open, opt for glass.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

14. Get particular about tidiness. Neatness counts. When you walked into a spa full of sloppily folded towels put willy-nilly, it could bug you so much that it might save you from relaxing during your massage. Apply the same rules to your bath: Keep products tucked away in drawers or cabinets, and fold or roll your towels in an orderly fashion. I recommend fluffy white towels, but if this is not sensible for you, buy towels that are all the exact same color. Donate your raggedy old towels into an animal refuge.

Studio One-Off Architecture & Design

15. Give your head a break. This bath headrest is a lot better than rolling up a towel underneath your head.

Gauhar ZH

16. Keep a fluffy white robe near hand. Consider logistics when picking a spot for robe hooks and towel bars. If you want to go for a complete spa outfit, then treat yourself into a spa shoes.

John Senhauser Architects

17. Insert an orchid. It’s possible to pick up these gorgeous exotic blossoms in the supermarket for approximately nine dollars, and they will last for months.

Belzberg Architects

18. Light some candles. However small your bathroom, you could always give your bathtub a more relaxed feel with the glow of candlelight. Playing an Enya record is optional.

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Cozy Retreat at Texas

Surrounded by lush bamboo, this quaint and also gathered distance feels right at home in South Austin’s eclectic Bouldin Creek area. Austin native Andrea Pimental was thrilled to get the perfect home in one of her favourite areas of the town, and in the last year she has transformed it into a colorful and peaceful retreat.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Andrea Pimentel; dog Harley and kitty Mr. Gray
Location: Bouldin Creek area of Austin, Texas
Size: 750 square feet; a single bedroom; one bathroom

Kara Mosher

The property’s entrance becomes apparent on a meander through the yard. “I love that it’s this superb surprise that people see if they come in the backyard for the first time,” Pimentel says. “You do not expect to discover bamboo in an Texas lawn, and because it’s a very drought-tolerant plant, ” I love that it can bounce back in the summer heat with just the tiniest bit of rain.” Throughout the seasons, it only takes just a little water to refresh the lawn with a burst of bright green.

Green mosaic table: Pier One Imports

Kara Mosher

Harley appreciates the smooth indoor-outdoor transition of this dark green- stained concrete floors. “I like the openness of the living room area combined with all the French doors which extend in the backyard,” says Pimentel. Texas weather means the rooms are always flooded with light.

Kara Mosher

Pimentel chose a bold red as an accent wall color in the main living room and framed vinyl records to break up the sound wall.

The classic wooden carving over the couch is one of Pimentel’s beloved pieces. “It was badly weathered and falling apart when I discovered it, but its delicate carvings still retained its own unique, great beauty,” she says.

Throw cushions: Pier One Imports; couch: Gage Furniture; listing frames: Michael’s

Kara Mosher

“Most of this time I purchase items with minimal regard to how they’ll fit with the rest of the decor,” Pimentel says. “Every one is something which I’ve found myself attracted to. They just somehow wind up fitting well together. All my rooms are a mix of antiques and contemporary products.”

Dark wall shelves: Ikea

Kara Mosher

“Once I moved in, the home had two fixed colors: the teal kitchen countertops and dark green-stained concrete flooring. I adored the teal from the kitchen,” she says.

Dining room dining table: Furniture in the Raw

Kara Mosher

Pimentel select a muted green to her bedroom walls. “I’ve always loved green and have utilized it as a paint colour many times through the years, playing about with various shades,” she says. “This has been one of my favorites — not too powerful or too bright, or so the art can really stick out.”

Bookshelf: Oak Express

Kara Mosher

The metal bird sculpture over her bed is one of Pimentel’s favorite art pieces. “I think that it’s a gorgeous makeup and is the central piece to the room,” she says. “I think whatever you put over your mattress is usually something which is extremely special and speaks to you in some way.”

Rug: Pier One Imports

Kara Mosher

“I love that I can relax with a book in the hammock, sit with a bunch of friends at the picnic table, sip coffee in the morning at the Adirondack chair or have a chat over a glass of wine in the bistro table,” she says.

Kara Mosher

Pimentel appreciates that every one the homes in her area were constructed in the 1950s and ’60s, many still inhabited by the original owners. “It’s wonderful to feel like I’m a portion of Old Austin,” she says.

Do you live in a small, creative area? Share it with us!

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