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Manolo for the Home: House, Home and Lifestyle Advice - Part 125

Versus: New Clocky or Original Clocky?

OMG cute!The color? Eh, but still so cute!

When I first heard about Clocky from its creator Gauri Nanda during an interview, I was already in love. These quirky little alarm clocks finally went on sale many moons ago but I still don’t have one. Why? Because when I was interviewing Nanda, it was the original Clocky that stole my heart.


The “new” Clocky has modern curves paired with vintage colors, and that’s cool. New Clocky looks sweet and forgiving. Original Clocky, on the other hand, is rugged, big, and meanly anthropomorphic. He’s not going to take your crap–try to sleep in and he’s going to roll over to your neighbor’s yard and destroy their lawn gnomes. Still not ready to get up? Original Clocky will ransack your living room until he finds those compromising pictures of yourself you took in college.

You can’t avoid the realities of the morning when Original Clocky is on the prowl…

A Toilet Hideaway – A Clean-Freak’s Nightmare?

The in-home airplane toilet

I love the jutting sink, and you’ll never hear me saying no to extra cabinet space. The hideaway toilet? I’m not so sure about that — it brings to mind images of airplanes and Greyhound buses. The bowl seems to be lost in space, like the plumber has temporarily set it down there while he prepares a more fitting spot for it in some other part of the lavatory. Plus, I can’t imagine a hideaway toilet would be at all convenient when plumbing repairs are in order.

What say you?

Jonathan Adler: Man of the Mod


I’d happily trade all my family gifted dinnerware and kitchen accouterments for the same pieces as designed by Jonathan Adler if I happened to have the excess dough lying about. Sorry mamman! Sorry dad! My most generous relatives can breathe a collective sigh of relief, however, as it turns out I’m just not solvent enough to replace my kitchenware at this time… no matter how wonderfully beautiful that Jonathan Adler pitcher is.

Litter Box Chic Pour le Chat

Pets come with accessories… there’s just no getting around it. Me and The Beard? We keep cats, and thus we know that the ugliness of the litter box is legendary. A few enterprising furniture makers have endeavored to help people for whom aesthetics are of utmost importance hide the realities of their cats’ daily lives.

Below you’ll find just a few examples of the many attractive litter box hideaways out there. Perhaps kitty is craving a little privacy this holiday season?

Making the ugly into something lovely

Continue Reading…

The Real No-Gimmick Kitchen

A few days ago, I wrote about the kitchen stuff you absolutely positively should not buy for the people on your holiday gifting list. But what about the kitchen stuff that is timeless, useful, and will be appreciated for years to come?

Camp Chef 10-inch Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet - SK-10Lodge Skillet 12

All of my other pots (and even some of my pans) have been put into semi-permanent retirement since I got my sweet sweet cast iron skillet. It makes a great pancake and makes wonderful sauces…all without the risk of sticking. Plus, they look fabulous hanging up on the wall if you happen to have a country kitchen thing going on.
Continue Reading…

Round Bed, Rocking Me to Dreamland

But will it make me seasick?

A man I know in Costa Rica lives at the top of a mountain in an open-air home. It’s not nearly as pretty as the picture you see above, being as that it’s made of a scrap wood frame paired with corrugated metal sheets. Nonetheless, I get the feeling that one of these floating beds would fit perfectly in with his charmingly rustic decor. What I’m not to sure about is whether these round, hanging beds are actually comfortable.

The site claims that they’re not only comfy, they’re also healthy.

The floating motion is scientifically designed to reactivate a deep relaxation response in our cellular memory. It will dramatically improve your sleep, or spare moments of relaxation. It is a powerful remedy for the problems of modern living.

Bunker than a bunk bed? I hope not. At $3195 for a queen size bed frame without any bells and whistles, it had better deliver on its promises.

Ikea Redux: Repurposing Flat Pack

What you see isn’t always what you getTa da!

Give an Ikea ISIG to lifestyle guru Matthew Mead and you’ll end up with something lovely. I found his easy-peasy DIY directions through ikea hacker, a blog devoted to finding the most interesting and innovative uses for boring old Ikea flat pack furniture.

Go and check ikea hacker out, then come back and tell me about your most creative Ikea furniture hacks. After all, just because something came from Ikea (or the Goodwill or the Dollar Tree) doesn’t mean it has to look like it did!

Would You Consider a Wood Stove?

Continental Small EPA Wood Stove - C1100PL

I’ll admit that a wood stove would look absolutely ridiculous in my house. There’s a reason there’s no fireplace — the living room is properly cottage sized. But at the same time, I do occasionally dream of installing a sweet little wood burning stove somewhere in my abode. The winters north of Boston are shaping up to be just a touch colder than I expected!

Why heat with a wood stove? EPA certified stoves are a lot more efficient than the old school potbellied models that probably come to mind when someone says, “wood burning stove.” The also look a fair bit sleeker, though they are nowhere near as charming. Were I to redo my decor in a less modern style, I could probably incorporate a stove into my living room… and I could probably do it myself, according to this document from Hearth.com.

Am I ready to do something like punch a hole in my house for the purposes of adding more heat? Er, no. If my cozy cottage was a bit more cottage-esque, I’d consider it. For now I’m going to have to stick with my electric space heater for the foreseeable future.


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