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Manolo for the Home: House, Home and Lifestyle Advice - Part 96

Your Very Own Harvest Moon

Arg! Halloween is almost here and work has kept you far too busy to dig the giant hanging spider out from the basement! What to do, what to do? You could do what Sylvar did and transform cheap Ikea accessories into re-usable holiday decor.

paper lantern

How did he do it? It took:

It also took about one and a half hours. Sylvar is calling it a harvest moon, which I think is an apt description. You could also tape black paper eyes, a nose, and a toothy grin onto the REGOLIT to make a jack-o-lantern that magically becomes a lamp when Halloween has come and gone.

Do I Even Drink That Much Hot Chocolate?

Repeat after me: I do not need hot chocolate specific stoneware. I do not need hot chocolate specific stoneware. I do not need hot chocolate specific stoneware.

Hot chocolate stoneware

I do not need…OH GOD, YES I DO! Bring it on, Kristen Grace!

Come Into the Light?

Um, no thanks. I think I’ll stand way back from this creepy hanging noose lamp designed by Marie Thurnauer. While Halloween is just a few short weeks away, this morbid piece of decor is meant to hang in one’s lair 365 days a year.

Noose lamp!

That’s not the only reason I’ll be standing back, however. At 4750.00 €, this lamp is downright scary.


Trompe L’œil Headboards

All you need to make your own fabulous headboard is a little paint…and a little talent with a paintbrush and a steady hand, I suppose.

Simple headboard

Domino says “Linens from the other side of the color wheel amp up the whimsy” in this unique bedroom. I like how subtle the pattern is because it’s just a few shades off from the color of the larger wall. If it was white, this painted headboard might me less elegant.

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Gifts For the Home: The Under $50 Edition

An acquaintance of mine recently announced that she has completed all of her holiday shopping. When I picked my jaw up off the floor, all I could do was nod mutely. Suddenly I felt guilty…it’s never too early to start thinking about holiday gifts, after all. Then I felt livid! Why should I feel guilty when Thanksgiving is but a glimmer in my hungry husband’s eye?

Nonetheless, I simply cannot stop my Type A brain from contemplating gift ideas. Money’s tight this year, what with a baby on the way, so I’m trying to keep costs down or at the very least keep costs reasonable. Last year, we made gifts, and many hours and burned fingers later, I’ve come to realize that my time and my digits are too valuable. My preliminary gift search led me to Branch and the Gifts Under $50 section of their web site.

Inexpensive gifts

From reclaimed wood salt and pepper shakers or spice blocks and eggs that grow herbs to organic bamboo cutting boards or utensils and worker-friendly bamboo bowls, Branch has the kind of gifts appropriate for MILs and grandparents who already have everything but are happy to receive some pretty new thing.

Yes, everyone in my family loves to cook but me. How could you tell?

White On White

I’m seeing a lot more white-on-white with white interiors these days and a lot more shops full of furniture to help people achieve this striking look. Brocade Home, a division of Restoration Hardware, is one such retailer.

White accessories

I like, I like, but it would never, ever work for me, what with five variously colored cats, a husband who makes not infrequent oopsies, and a baby on the way. I clean enough as it is — I don’t feel like dooming myself to a life of endless dust rags and mops. I will, however, happily come over to your white-on-white house and bask in the starkness.

Vintage Cake Carriers, Yum!

I lust after vintage kitchen gadgets, as my family well knows. Occasionally, said gadgets even come in handy, like the other day when I finally got fed up with the hand mixer that has five speeds only if ultra fast, mega fast, insanely fast, speed of light, and spraying batter everywhere are actual speeds. My old hand-cranked egg beater saved the day, and the modern hand mixer was tossed into the box destined for the Goodwill.

Cake carriers

Speaking of batter, I am currently drooling over all of the vintage cake carriers on eBay. Luckily, they tend to be relatively inexpensive as vintage kitchen gadgets go. In case you’re thinking that they’re pretty, but useless, these babies are great for those of us who like to bake for parties and have suffered the humiliation of driving 20 miles under the speed limit with our hazards on because there was a cake on the passenger side floor. The best cake carriers are multi-tiered — carry a cake and a pie! — and spring-loaded for safety. The heavier the cake, the stronger the seal, so you don’t have to worry about nasty accidents.

A Kitchen In Pieces

Fantasizing about the perfect kitchen is a hobby of mine. Mine is small, so inevitably I picture something very open, very airy, and rustic without being too Little House On the Prairie. I do not live on a working farm or in a French chalet, and I don’t want to cop those looks in their entirety. In much the same way a fireplace would look out of place in my living room, a huge scarred table or a deep copper sink would look pretty ridiculous in my kitchen. C’est la vie!

So what do I do? I look for bits and pieces of homey goodness I can incorporate into my decor until that day comes I can afford to have contractors gut and rebuild my cozy little cottage.

Peroba Hanging Wall Shelves ($25 surcharge)

Small spaces with even smaller amounts of storage are not a problem when you use shelving creatively. These reclaimed peroba wall shelves don’t take up too much room, but they clear some countertop real estate.

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