more about: home improvement

Quick Fix: How to Clean a Bathtub Stains

If you’re constantly fighting off rust stains in your bathtub, here’s a cleaning combo that’s sure to do the trick. Mix together equal parts baking soda and cream of tartar. Then add enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the paste onto the stain with your fingers or a microfiber cloth, and leave it to sit for about 30 […]

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An Easy Fix for Squeaky Floors

Live in an old (or even not-so-old) house with squeaky floors? If your floors are hard wood, you can use this trick to quiet them temporarily. Simply dust a little bit of talcum powder over the floor and sweep it into the cracks. (Remove the rest with a damp cloth or paper towel.) Do you have any unexpected household fixes?

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The Easiest Way to Save Water

Want to save more than 1,000 gallons of water this year just by making a 2-minute upgrade? The easiest way to do it is to add an aerator to your kitchen and bathroom faucets. An aerator pumps air into the stream of water coming from your faucet. Translation—you’ll use less water without losing water pressure. How have you saved water around your […]

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August is for Decorating

August is our first decorating themed issue!  It is filled with juicy decorating tips, ideas, and images. There is an excellent furniture story (Affordable Classics p. 115), a great styling story (The Art of Arranging p. 125) and a brilliant color story (One Word: Color).  I know it is weird when people speak so highly of their own work but […]

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Save 20% on Modern Fan and Heater

A great deal on a cool 2-in-1 multitasking gadget. This red hot pick has the power to  quietly warm a drafty room in the winter and cool it come springtime. Go to and enter the code SIMPLE20 at checkout to receive 20% off this product (and all other fans on the website) through August 31, 2011, or while supplies […]

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How To Season Butcher Block Countertops

If you’re lucky enough to have butcher block countertops (or even just a few nice wooden cutting boards) in your home, it’s important to take good care of them. Thankfully, doing so is easier than you might imagine. When you first get a new butcher block, the key is to keep it from drying out. To keep it conditioned, rub […]

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Have You Ever Used a Windowless Air Conditioner?

So far this summer has been pretty mild in New York City. Yes, there were a couple of days that were absolute scorchers, but other than that I really can’t complain. Especially since I still don’t have an air conditioner. Last summer, my roommate and I tried using our air conditioners in the shared spaces of our apartment. (I wrote […]

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How Much Water Do Low-Flow Showerheads Save?

Switching out your showerhead for a low-flow model is one of the easiest changes you can make to save water. But how much of an impact is it acutally making?



Keep reading to find out how much water you can actually save.

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Which is the “Greener” Way to Wash Your Car?

If you’re concerned about water usage, pollution and your utility bills, head to the car wash instead of sudsing up in your driveway. 


Keep reading to find out why.

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What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?

When it comes to paint, you hear a lot about low-VOC and even no-VOC paints. But what does that term actually mean? 

VOC stands for volatile organic compound, and it refers to certain chemicals that release gases into the air and contribute to indoor air pollution. Most commonly, you’ll find VOCs in paints, lacquers, and wood stains, but they are also present in some cleaning products, aerosol sprays, and bug repellents.


Keep reading to find out what you can do to reduce your exposure to VOCs.


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