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Tours of Jane’s and Allison’s houses

Holiday Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

holiday kitchen cleaning - cleaning the kitchen - cleaning-services via atticmag

Five pre-holiday kitchen cleaning must-dos. Five things that can wait. Plus some of my favorite kitchen cleaning products.

Families can get a little snoopy when they visit relatives especially during the holidays. Someone will open a kitchen drawer or a pantry cabinet and get a little judgmental about what they see. It rarely becomes a big deal but, as we all know, unless someone says “this is the cleanest kitchen I’ve ever seen,” a little offhand remark can sting. All this is on my mind since we’re having two family visits this week. And with Thanksgiving and Christmas in view, early Fall may be the best time to get the holiday kitchen cleaning list done so the house is ready for company quickly.… Continue Reading

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My LED Light Bulb Moment

LED light bulbs - eyeball accent lights in the tv room - Atticmag

Finding the right LED light bulb became an exercise in absurdity this week. I thought I understood new lighting tech.

Two of the ceiling lights in our TV room burned out a few days ago. And while that may sound like a domestic detail hardly worth noting, what with beheadings in the news and the ebola virus spreading, this one small event has taken on a larger significance. So I hope you will indulge me while I break today from talking about kitchen design or chair styles. I want to explore why changing a lightbulb now requires a 22-year investment, a magnifying glass to read the fine print, and an email to the electrician to be sure the house won’t burn down.… Continue Reading

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Really Simple Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning tips - food network via atticmag

Room-by-room spring cleaning tips for removing dirt and germs from often overlooked surfaces.

I confess I’m a bit crazy-clean when it comes to my house. But I’m also practical because I don’t have a week to focus on pulling it apart for cleaning then putting everything back. So this year, I compiled some really simple Spring cleaning tips that won’t take long to do. This is not about home-made products or basic maintenance like deep-vacuuming furniture and draperies, dusting book cases, window blinds or light fixtures. It’s a room-by-room alcohol-based approach to getting rid of hidden dirt and germs on common surfaces.… Continue Reading

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My Laundry Room Redo

felted rug pad from Rug Pad USA via Atticmag

Minor changes make major visual improvements in a redone laundry room.

A few things have changed in our main level laundry room since moving into our Alabama Stone Cottage.  It’s my “pretty” (and functional) recently redone laundry room, a well-deserved space after making do with a corner of the unfinished basement in our last house for 20+ years.  I started looking for the perfect Soumak runner for the long, narrow room a bit too late. When I finally found Mr. Perfect Rug it had been discontinued and the twelve-foot-long runners were sold out.  After a few months of sulking, I started searching again and decided on this brown and ivory hand knotted flatweave by Kalaty (Su-148 from Payless Rugs).… Continue Reading

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Rebooting the Front Porch Floor

front porch redo - front porch repainted with Fine Paints of Europe Slingblade - Atticmag

I was able to finish the front porch redo on a beaten up floor before the autumn leaves fell.

The project began last Spring. That’s when I noticed that the 10-year old boards on the front and sides of the front porch had begun to rot. The culprit, I believed, was the water-based porch floor paint which didn’t properly seal the surface. Our porch faces west and takes a beating from snow blowing across it in winter and sun beating down directly during the summer. I had put off my front porch redo because the floor required sanding before it could be primed and repainted. … Continue Reading

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Vintage Painted Shutters

vintage painted shutters - antique walnut dining room with Kalaty soumak rug - atticmag

Antique shutters bring much needed color and texture to the dining room.

Three years ago, Jane posted a tour of my Alabama Stone Cottage.  Several rooms have been tweaked since then.  I’ve added accessories from antiquing and traveling, moved upholstered pieces and shifted some artwork  I’ve always had a thing for painted pieces, and when the paint is chipped, I like it even better. So I snapped up a pair of vintage painted shutters since their greenish-gray color was similar to our French Gray Island Kitchen knowing they would be perfect in the dining room. Here’s the new look for the dining room [top].… Continue Reading

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