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Central Plains Gardener's April Checklist

In March you cut down the perennials in anticipation of this — the very first green slopes pushing through the mulch. Now it’s time to sit back and revel in the quick spurts of growth. You might want to keep fine-tuning and trimming shrubs, but return on those that flower in April and May; there’s plenty else to do in the border throughout the hot afternoons and cool mornings that make spring so invigorating.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Sow vegetable seeds. Toward the center of the month it’s possible to start sowing seeds for veggies such as lettuce, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Then at the end of April, sow corn, legumes, squash, melons and sunflowers. See that last frost date along with the weather prediction — you might have to put a sheet or 2 over the plants, and one or two over yourself.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Watch for early-blooming natives. We left it. Winter can be a magic and magnificent year, but you know what? So can spring up. One of the very first flowers you could have coming up is your pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris). This short wildflower is covered in insulating own hair and will take the cold nights of April while perking up the hot afternoons with its gentle colors.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Resist the need to prune spring-blooming shrubs, such as viburnum, dogwood and spiraea, because they bloom on old growth and not brand new. As soon as they’re done blooming and setting fruit, you are able to prune if you need to.

In the background here is your early-May-blooming shrub Viburnum dentatum, an integral nectar resource for spring bugs and a big berry manufacturer for birds.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Another no-no for mid- to – late-spring pruning is crabapple. I mean, why do you want to deprive yourself of this dazzling show? Walk your landscape as you’re at it and see where you can jam in a few more spring-blooming trees and shrubs — you can never , ever have a lot of.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Enjoy spring-blooming trees. Following Is a dogwood shrub (white) facing a redbud. Both like well-drained soils and blossom in April. These trees are good sources of fruit for wildlife and are ones that you might consider for shorter specimens close to a patio or below taller trees in a wooded border.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Nurture perennial borders. This is what your perennial beds ought to appear to be — a moonscape with bits of green. Make certain that you keep out of those beds and borders, as your heavy gaze will compact the dirt and damage the roots of both old and new plants revving up for your growing season. Once things are up and you also know where they all are, go on and mulch — but do wait until you’re sure all the plants are over earth to give them a helping hand toward sunlight.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Layout sinuous garden beds. It’s never too late to generate a new garden bed. Even in vegetable beds, try to steer clear of square borders that parallel structures or walkways — go back to the 1960s and ask yourself whether you truly want to be square. On occasion a curved line also can help echo the types of flowing trees and perennials that will soon grace the mattress, making an appealing flow for your eye.

More regional backyard guides

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Beach-Scene Colors for a Picturesque Florida Getaway

When a city’s name is Watercolor, and it’s about the both tantalizingly called Emerald Coast in the Florida panhandle, you have a hunch it’s going to become a nod to stunning design. And, dare I say, kudos to city’s homeowner’s association, whose building ordinances and architectural limitations have produced a harmonious town with a like-minded style that is rife with what architect Geoff Chick and others predict Florida cracker style.

The appearance takes its cues from older fisherman’s shacks along with barns that once populated the region, also has evolved to emphasize metal roofs, big porches, double-hung windows, clapboard siding, pitched roofs, exposed rafters and picket railings and fences. It’s a design that took hold in neighboring Seaside, Florida (the Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show was shot there), also has taken on a new life by integrating sustainable, locally sourced materials for the outside structures and more sophisticated, pricier insides.

For Houston few Brad and Denise Williams, the city became the ideal place where Denise could eventually use her two decades of notes and magazine clippings to make her dream holiday home. After Chick completed his construction, Denise built the space in a very simple and clean design with blues, greens and beiges that look plucked directly from the shore.

at a Glance
Who lives here: This is a holiday home for Brad and Denise Williams.
Watercolor, Florida
Size: 4,731 square feet; 4 beds (and midsize area), 4 1/2 bathrooms, plus a 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom flat

Geoff Chick & Associates

The awe-inspiring exterior has a touch galvanized roof and HardiePlank lap siding with red cedar shingles, all painted a custom soft blue color made to harmonize with all the substances. Gas lanterns, transom windows, exposed rafters on the upper tower structure and a thorough railing with a recurring X layout punctuate Watercolor’s architectural design.

The home faces a neighborhood park and backs up into the Point Washington State Forest, a massive natural preserve. The homeowners wanted the structure to connect to a above-garage apartment via an enclosed walkway so they can walk from the front of the house to the trunk without needing to go indoors.

Geoff Chick & Associates

“I wanted something clean and easy,” Denise says of this living and kitchen spaces, which she wanted to become just one giant room so everyone would feel connected.

Chairs, table: Z Gallerie; ceiling and wall paint: Iceberg, Benjamin Moore; posts and cabinet paint: White Dove, Benjamin Moore; floors: Brazilian walnut

Geoff Chick & Associates

She incorporated a beach-friendly palette with a blue glass subway tile backsplash and a coffered ceiling painted a soft blue.

Pendant lights: nickel, Circa

Geoff Chick & Associates

Denise fell in love with all the detailing of this foyer mirror, but its black and gold color didn’t fit with her theme. She added a brushed-platinum finish and picked a very simple table from Ethan Allen that would not take attention from the mirror’s detailing.

Geoff Chick & Associates

This landing area connects the main house into the garage apartment. With a door, a farmhouse sink, classic wood furniture and also a color palette of red, black and white, the design is a light departure from the rest of the home.

Geoff Chick & Associates

“The way in which the home was built, it’s contemporary but feels authentic,” Chick says. This is encouraged in the master bath, in which Carrara marble countertops, a classic chair, classic medicine bottles and silver finishes bridge new and old.

Tile: Walker Zenger; mirrors: Restoration Hardware; paint: Woodlawn Blue (cut 50 percent), Benjamin Moore; bathtub: Victoria + Albert

Geoff Chick & Associates

This view is from the third floor — that has a home theater and an office space — looking back on the second, which has a bunk room, a master suite and two guest rooms.

Footprints in Watercolor homes are tight, therefore Chick was challenged with finding a way to produce private areas. He did this by building up, making perpendicular, alternative living spaces, like a workspace near the staircase. “It’s very striking to have a vaulted, two-story space on the second floor,” notes Chick. It’s more striking to have a large, wooden, beaded chandelier.

Chandelier: Europa, Currey & Company

Geoff Chick & Associates

A display case contains bottles of sand Denise has collected from beaches all over the world for the last 30 decades.

Geoff Chick & Associates

The second-floor bunk room is meant to accommodate future grandkids. The bunks were custom made. The green door is a hundred years old and from Romania.

Geoff Chick & Associates

A sliding, distressed doorway on the next floor closes off the house into the fourth-floor tower to stop heat loss.

Geoff Chick & Associates

Brad eagerly wanted a sea view, which their lot didn’t have; Chick had to build as high up as permitted by the homeowner’s association. Now the few can see all the way down the shore and watch sunsets and fireworks on the Fourth of July.

The honey-colored ceiling is made from pecky cypress.

Geoff Chick & Associates

Exposed rafter tails borrow from cracker cabin style. With extreme sunshine the norm here, the extended eaves help cut back on solar gain in the tower, and since hurricane winds pose a danger to ripping off the roof, a beam along with a corbel detail have been inserted.

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From Olden Church into Soaring Modern Marvel

When an 1892 Anglican church outside Melbourne, Australia, arrived the market, husband-and-wife architects Dominic and Marie Bagnato jumped at the chance to rescue the weatherboarded structure from being bought and turned into a commercial office space. With older churches such as it becoming a rarity in the region — the little designs can’t support growing congregations, so churchgoers are consolidating into larger spaces — the couple determined that converting the building into an amazing modern house would help make sure its remaining power. “We wanted to maintain the architecture and keep the appearance but bring it to a 21st-century home on the interior,” Marie says.

Clearly, adding a little style did not hurt, either. Since it had been recorded as a heritage site, the architects could do just so much to the existing construction. They created a mezzanine with two bedrooms and a rumpus room in the older church structure and added a new modern building with a lavish master suite, ramping up the square footage to accommodate the current occupants: a physician, his wife and their six kids.

Together with the house’s hundred-year-old trusses and ceiling, and luxury decoration, being inside it today is almost a religious experience.

in a Glance
Who lives here: A family of 8
Moonee Ponds neighborhood of Melbourne, Australia
Size: 5,274 square feet; 4 or 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
Budget: $1.55 million

Bagnato Architects

It had been all about highlighting the emptiness in the living room. The monolithic fireplace soars up to 6 1/2 meters (a little more than 21 feet). The normal ceiling height in Australia is half. “It’s quite imposing when you’re standing there,” Marie Bagnato says. The chimney has a black marble hearth and a plaster finish, also connects to the ceiling and timber trusses, both a hundred years old.

Leaving the limestone floor “lumpy and bumpy,” Bagnato says, and incorporating an acid-washed finish, helped make the surface look aged.

Bagnato Architects

Since it was a very insular building, the architect worked to link the distance to the yard. Large windows now open to the swimming pool and scenic Moonee Valley. The larger window is supposed to be a modern interpretation of a Gothic window. “It gets the space magnificent back there,” Bagnato says.

Gold is a theme throughout the home. The color reminds Bagnato of older churches, something she says she subconsciously thought of throughout the plan. Gold comes from the multicylindered chandelier, which is intended to emulate organ pipes.

Bagnato Architects

Since this is a heritage-listed building, the architects kept all the original exterior features on the church side, including the weatherboard, Gothic windows and cloverleaf port. “To be transparent, we wanted to highlight the building, not ruin the facade,” Bagnato says.

A black stairwell links the church to the new modern building, which includes the master bedroom.

Bagnato Architects

The designer wanted the press lounge in the church building to have a very different vibe in another living areas. Whereas the living area is spacious and filled with light, this space is intimate and moody, with gray walls, alligator-skin-recalling wallpaper, velvety sofas and carpets, and tiny surprises of stone.

“I wanted it to feel very lush and over the top. It’s almost just like a foyer to a resort,” Bagnato says. “It’s where you go with friends”

All furniture: Coco Republic

Bagnato Architects

Black and gold remain in this sitting area, which was the first entry to the church. It now links to the press couch, with windows that look to a garden.

Bagnato Architects

Calacatta marble runs throughout the kitchen, such as the staircase. The place connects with the dining area and spills from the living area.

Bagnato Architects

A freestanding Caroma Noir bath overlooks the master bath. The materials utilized throughout the rest of the home replicate within this space. The black Nero Tempest marble found around the fireplace comes up here as an imposing wall; acid-washed Chiampo limestone similar to that in the living area adorns the ground, just here it has a more honed, smoother finish. The light fixtures glow amber when lit, complementing the golden tones in the marble.

Bagnato Architects

This staircase is the link between the old and new building. It leads up to the bedrooms and features partially exposed stained wood treads to get a floating effect.

Bagnato Architects

The first Gothic windows divide the ground levels in the two church bedrooms. An original truss cuts a striking scene, as does a mirror near the ceiling over the bed that makes the hundred-year-old wood roof appear to hover.

Bagnato Architects

This al fresco seating place is underneath some of the new building that joins the two structures. The cabinetry around the stainless steel barbecue and sink is recycled timber.

Bagnato Architects

Glass walls fuse old and new, inside and outside, connecting the home to the pool area and the Moonee Valley beyond.

Bagnato Architects

The mezzanine looks over the living area void, aided by a glass balustrade. The old trusses jut into the distance, maintaining the rhythm of this old structure.

The architect wanted the staircase, which contributes to an attic-type space, to sense sculptural but not fight the old building design.

Bagnato Architects

The homeowners are turning the attic-type space with views of Moonee Valley into a attic bedroom for two of their kids. A kitchenette and powder room are back.

Bagnato Architects

The owners wanted the master bedroom to feel somewhat like a lavish hotel room. Sheer black drapes, charcoal wallpaper and an artichoke-recalling mild add to the effect.

Bagnato Architects

The ceiling at the wine cellar is recycled timber. The backsplash is backlit onyx.

Tell us Can you live in a remodeled church building? We would love to find a photo.

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9 Dreamy Bedrooms Total of Softness

First things first: The idea of masculine and feminine in decorating has less to do with sex roles than with form, placement, colour and other pieces of their visual package. Feminine rooms tend to convey a feeling of softness and nuance; they are more mysterious and less direct than manly spaces. They highlight curves over stiff lines, randomness over symmetry, little scale over big and airy hues over rich jewel tones or dark neutrals. And the bedroom, such an intensely personal space to begin with, is an perfect spot for allowing this strategy blossom.

Rinfret, Ltd..

From the whispers of shell pink as well as the flashes of lilac into the layers of sheen and glow (even on the canopy), this bedroom showcases feminine flair in a superbly controlled manner. Everything about it seems subtle and sensual.

Having a neutral palette and rich forests, this room easily might have gone manly. What keeps it at the opposite camp? Detailing such as the billowy draperies and cutout-style bedskirt edging, along with romantic notes such as the cherub art and antiqued mirror.

Elizabeth Brosnan Hourihan Interiors

Again, details make the distinction here. Yellow is one of those unisex colors that can go either masculine or feminine, however scalloped bedding, pinch-pleat drapery tops, tasseled cushions and graceful patterns plant it firmly in the latter camp.

Jane Lockhart Interior Design

Airy but no-nonsense, this boudoir breathes life to the well-worn pairing of pink and gray. The headboard and unfussy accents prevent short of overall sweetness, nevertheless the space gives off an unmistakably feminine vibe.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

This is how you do grace and poise with a side of sass. Stylized florals, conventional shell prints and softly curving furniture profiles get an edge from the vivid turquoise and coral tones, which change the disposition from serene to zingy. Sudden notes such as the light blue seat legs add to the light feel.

The Lettered Cottage

While men can rock a purple shirt or lavender tie, this space is nothing but girly, thanks to small furniture, curvy types, a swooping canopy, a ruffly seat skirt and tiers of toile. Streams of natural light improve the delicate effect.

Clarkson Potter

This is a woman’s bedroom, but an adult will be pleased to maintain it as her haven. The bare canopy bed retains its childhood-fantasy feel but shows off its bones in a sophisticated way, while the watermelon-pink toile wraps the space in delicate layout. Layers of cushions add to the feminine air.

Caitlin Moran Interiors

Nothing says glam like a statement chandelier, and this one tops off the room just like a giant pearl choker. The towering ceiling opens up the room enough to handle a luxuriously overscale bed with a headboard that is sculpted, and an upholstered bench right for strapping on a pair of heels. The light scheme also helps to soften the room’s angles.

Feminine style gets an exotic twist in this comfy bedroom, with a medallion-print fabric that feels both modern and dainty. The asymmetrical chaise at the foot of this bed is simply luxuriant.

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Your property sits on the surface of a bit of property, and the nature of the surface — whether it is flat, hilly, mountainous or some mix — is your property’s topography. The topography of the property affects the way the citizens enter the house and access the outside spaces.

Gelotte Hommas Architecture

A slightly sloping piece of property has a gentle topography. This doesn’t mean that the land is flat. In fact, different heights of the house can get distinct outside spaces if the website is gently sloping and the home’s layout takes advantage of that.

AIA, Bud Dietrich

As a set of steps in a version, topography is expressed in the design phase. Each measure represents a distance, such as a foot or even a of foot that is half. These kinds of models can help you visualize the slope of the property and the way that affects the home’s design.

AIA, Bud Dietrich

The topography of A site can be expressed in a drawing, represented. Where the lines are close together, the website rises or falls sharply. Where the lines are farther apart, the website is flatter. Changes to the topography created from building the house as well as the driveway, walks etc. are exhibited by solid, darker lines connecting the present topographic lines.

Peace Design

A website can seem to be relatively flat or to have a gentle slope when it is surrounded by steeper slopes and mountainous terrain. In a case like this, it is ideal to have a site plan showing the surrounding topography, so the layout could take that into consideration.

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10 Evergreens for Beautiful Foliage All Year

Evergreens will be the structural backbone of this garden in warmer weather, providing a backdrop for showier blossoms and foliage. But in winter evergreens take the spotlight, providing visual interest within an otherwise barren landscape.

The subsequent 10 trees, plants and shrubs will keep your garden looking lively through the coldest of months.

Kim Gamel

Not many evergreens are green. The ‘Fat Albert’ number of Colorado spruce is a gorgeous blue specimen. It’s slow growing, forming an ideal cone with a distinguished silver-blue needle shade.

Colorado Spruce
(Picea pungens ‘Fat Albert’)

USDA zones: 3 to 7 (find your zone)
Mature dimension: 10 to 15 feet tall and 7 to 10 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun
Water requirement: Moderate

Kim Gamel

A lovely evergreen that looks great alone or in a group is untrue cypress ‘Soft Serve’. This is a compact, cone-shaped evergreen with gentle, lacy branches. Bonus: It’s deer resistant.

False Cypress
(Chamaecyparis pisfera ‘Soft Serve’)

USDA zones: 5 to 7
Mature dimension: 6 to 10 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide

Light requirement: Full sun to partial sun
Water necessity: Medium moisture; well-drained soil

Kim Gamel

If you’d prefer a more compact evergreen for container gardens or as a hedge, then boxwood ‘Green Gem’ leaves a good option. It’s a broadleaf evergreen shrub that forms a dense 2-foot sphere at maturity.

(Buxus ‘Green Gem’)

USDA Islands: 4 to 9
Mature dimension: 1 1/2 to two feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial sun
Water necessity: Medium moisture; well-drained soil

Arlington Landscape

If a glowing yellow-green would look better on your landscape, think about false cypress ‘Lemon Thread’. It’s delicate chartreuse thread-like foliage that offers a bright pop of color throughout the often cold winter.

Japanese False Cypress
(Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Lemon Thread’)

USDA zones: 4 to 8
Mature dimension: 3 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water necessity: Moderate

Another consistently green option for hedging is cherry or English laurel. The one displayed in this photo was pruned judiciously to keep it in a lower height. Otherwise, it can grow to ten feet tall.

The number ‘Otto Luyken’ has shiny green leaves and creamy white fragrant flowers that appear in the spring.

Cherry Laurel
(Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’)

USDA zones: 6 to 8
Mature dimension: 6 to 10 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water necessity: Moderate

Another chartreuse option that would make a wonderful low-growing hedge is Japanese holly. To find the best yellow shade, plant it in sunlight.

Find out where this shrub is invasive.

Japanese Holly
(Ilex crenata ‘Golden Gem’)

USDA zones:5 to 8
Mature dimension: 1 1/2 to two feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water necessity: Moderate

Kim Gamel

With its unconventional weeping habit, blue atlas cedar could function nicely as a specimen plant from your backyard. Use the stunning type to draw the eye to a desired spot in the landscape.

Blue Atlas Cedar
(Cedrus atlantica, Glauca Group, ‘Glauca Pendula’)

USDA zones: 6 to 7
Mature dimension: 3 to 12 feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Full sun
Water necessity: Moderate

Kim Gamel

If you’re searching for a ground cover that carries its color through winter, consider creeping juniper. It spreads by long branches to form a thick mat over time. The cultivar ‘Emerald Spreader’ retains its glowing emerald-green color throughout the winter.

Creeping Juniper
(Juniperus horizontalis)

USDA zones: 3 to 9 (find your zone)
Mature dimension:1/2 foot to 1 1/2 feet tall and 5 to 8 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun

Water necessity: Medium moisture; well-drained soil

Kim Gamel

And if you’d prefer some constant shade in a shady perennial garden, Christmas fern is a good bet. Clumps grow to two feet tall and gradually spread by rhizomes to present excellent evergreen color perfectly suited to some dry shade area.

Christmas Fern
(Polystichum acrostichoides)

USDA zones: 3 to 9
Mature size: 1 to 2 feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Partial shade to full shade
Water necessity: Dry to moderate

Inform us What are some of your favorite evergreens?

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Readers' Choice: The 10 Most Popular Kids' Rooms of 2012

ers’ treasured children’s spaces in 2012 leaned toward classic rooms that offered a little something special: a dab of fun color on the ceiling, a comfy lofted playspace or a brightly coloured rug. From a superorganized Texas crafts area to a dream Tennessee tree home, each of these terrific kids’ spaces has something amazing to offer.

Here are the most popular kids’ room photographs added to in 2012, based on how many times they were added to users’ ideabooks:

Resort Custom Homes

1. Basic built-in bunk bed. readers loved the custom, grown-up color of the built-in bunk bed. Several even wanted this space-saving alternative for their guest rooms.

LLC & Sons, Ellen Grasso

2. Texas tweens’ crafts space and crafts. An upgrade from the typical play place, this room works as a combined homework and crafts area for tweens and teenagers. Lots of custom storage — observable and hidden — keeps things clean and neat.

Driggs Designs

3. Cozy kids’ window seat in North Carolina. In lieu of a playroom, a comfy corner with area for games and books like this one may be the ideal place for the little one.

Bjon Pankratz

4. Dream Nashville tree home. Nearly every child wants a tree home, and it is difficult to dream up one better than that. The mix of contemporary design and pristine playfulness (such as the bucket for raising and lowering temples) makes for a dream two-story getaway.

Rinfret, Ltd..

5. Pink and purple completed right in Connecticut. Purple and pink do not need to follow an outrageous layout. ers saved this photo for its timeless spin on two female colors.

McCroskey Interiors

6. Easy, elegant Kansas nursery. Though this beautiful nursery was intended for a boy, readers enjoyed its unisex side. Soothing colors and simple routines unite in a traditional space that could quickly transform into a toddler’s room later on.

CHIC Redesign

7. Lofted playspace in Massachusetts. Children love secret hideaways, like this loft built for a girl. A homework channel below and also a playspace above help split work time and playtime.

Highline Partners, Ltd

8. Colorado cabin kids’ room. This dim sleepover area has just enough of a dungeon vibe to feel enjoyable but not spooky. Stone walls, weathered wood and iron railings stream with the rest of the cabin’s style.


9. Sophisticated San Francisco nursery. ers could not get enough of these graphic patterns and vibrant colours in this nursery for a baby girl. While the majority of the furnishings can function in a master bedroom, both the pom-poms along with other interesting touches keep the space youthful.

Benedict August

10. Modern and colorful California nursery. A few clever swipes of paint may be all you need to update your kid’s room. A striped ceiling bright yellowish bookshelves and bold fabrics unite beautifully in this contemporary nursery.

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All Is Not Lost: New Gadgets Help You Discover Your Stuff

We all lose stuff around the home. Keys. Wallet. And the TV remote. It’s frustrating, time consuming and always seems to occur when we’re running late.

Luckily, low-cost gadgets may eliminate the panicky ransacking procedure and simply show the place of whatever it is that you’re looking for. They utilize wireless technology and in some cases even smart phones. Here are 3 available today or in the not too distant future.


Cobra Tag Universal – $69.99

The Cobra Tag Universal is a Bluetooth device it’s possible to use as a keychain, and it is accompanied by an program for your iPhone or Android phone. It is also possible to attach it to a remote controller or another household thing.

After you press a digital button in the program, the keychain device beeps loudly. And the reverse also works: If you press an actual button on the keychain, your telephone makes a loud beep.

Firstly, you can tell the program to sound an alarm on both objects should they get separated. It can also send you a map link into the location of both the telephone and the keychain.

The apparatus would not be possible without the brand new version of Bluetooth technology that came out lately. The new technology enables devices to use very little power while staying on all of the time — for in this case up to a year.


StickNFind – $30

StickNFind includes “stickers,” each the size of a pile of 3 quarters. They are made to link to household items using a sticky surface; they then link to a iPhone or Android phone via Bluetooth. A distinctive app enables you to use the telephone to monitor the decal. StickNFind has been audience and should send in the first half of 2013.

Inside that tiny package is a watch battery, and a Bluetooth electronic device that connects to a phone whenever it is within about 100 ft or so, as stated by the manufacturer. When you select the thing you would like to locate (say, the cat, using a StickNFind decal on the collar) and press any of 3 buttons in the program, the decal beeps, buzzes or flashes a light.

The program will not have the ability to tell you the exact location of some of the stickers, but it will have the ability to tell you how close one is. It is possible to walk around the house, becoming warmer or colder until you discover it, similar to finding your telephone by simply dialing your number and tracking it down by its own ring tone.

It also includes a “virtual leash” attribute, which sounds an alert if the stickered thing is farther away from your telephone from the space you place. This prevents you from, say, leaving the house without your wallet or alerts you if your child leaves the front yard.

The program is thought to track around 20 stickers concurrently, and you may view them all displayed on the program screen at the same time.


Find One, Find All Of (FOFA) – $24

The majority of things finders have one type of apparatus that attaches to anything you wish to have the ability to discover, and yet another gadget that turns on the alarm system.

A product called FOFA takes a exceptional approach: Every connected device can also activate the alert on other devices. FOFA stands for “Find One, Find All.” It’s a 30-foot range.

The devices come in a number of sizes and shapes. For example, one fits in a pocket. Another size works nicely as a keychain or on a dog collar. Though there are different sizes, each has a keypad with numbers ranging from one to six. After you press the number that corresponds to, for instance, your missing TV remote, the FOFA device attached to it beeps.

FOFA, that utilizes radio frequency identification (RFID) technology rather than Bluetooth, has an XD Proximity Detect feature, which tells you once you’re very close to an item that might be buried in such a way as to muffle the alarm sound.

More: The Way Bluetooth is changing remote controller

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8 Keys to Exude True Warmth at Home

In Denmark they’ve hygge, in Germany it is gemütlichkeit and in Sweden you might get mysig. Loosely interpreted, all these words imply “cozy,” but it is really much greater than that. Hygge is all about relaxing, slowing down and enjoying time together with friends and nearest and dearest. It is all about bringing warmth and light to a dark night, sipping hot drinks around the fire and making a cheerful, peaceful, welcoming mood in the home. And the gorgeous thing about a hygge house is the fact that it depends much more about the care you require than the cash you put in to it.

Here are eight strategies to take coziness to the next level.

Holly Marder

1. Welcome visitors. The instant you step to a hygge house, you are aware of it. Imagine walking through the door and being greeted by a warm hug, the odor of something yummy baking in the kitchen and a comfortable location where you could sit and take your boots off.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

2. Make places to collect. It may be nice to have a place for sitting and having tea and a conversation beyond the usual living room sofa or dining table. A low dining table with chairs feels more intimate — perfect for catching up with a close friend or flipping through decorating photos.

Praktyczne i Piękne

3. Boost. Just because you’ve got the day to yourself does not mean you can’t also enjoy getting mysig. Put on music you love, drape your favourite seat with a fluffy sheepskin or extra cushion, and be sure you like a cup of something hot to drink as you go about your day.

Alex Amend Photography

4. Give a welcoming touch to each room. So often it is the tiny things which make the biggest difference. Don’t you agree? More than having the “right” sofa or a perfectly coordinated rug and toss pillows, coziness comes in the sense that someone is caring for you. Think a little vase of fresh flowers, a well-cared-for green plant from the window, candles lit and coffee brewing.

Jeanette Lunde

5. Minimize media on your living area. One thing that does not mesh nicely with gemütlichkeit, hygge or even mysig is a blaring cell phone or TV. Preserve a little time and area in your house for unplugged pursuits — if a friend drops, choose not to answer texts until he or she’s gone, giving the visitor the luxury of your undivided attention.

Julie Smith

6. Bring light to midwinter days. A strand of white twinkle lights, extra candles and soft lamplight have a massive impact in winter. So if it is a gray day, why don’t you light a couple candles and plug from the twinkle lights as you relax in your home? It is so much lovelier that way.

Julie Smith

7. Create hideaways. Retreating to bed whenever you’ve got a cold or are simply tired is a superb way to recharge. Make your favorite resting place even more attractive by making sure that it has a good lamp, soft palate plus a little, special touch. Drape a piece of fabric overhead for a canopy or craft a mobile from home made decorations and pretty decoration.

Chris A Dorsey Photography

8. Always be prepared for fika with friends. The Swedish tradition of fika involves taking a little break with friends for coffee and cake or cinnamon rolls; it appears to be a superb custom to adopt at this time of year. With packed schedules, it may not be possible to see everyone we want to view, but that does not have time to get a tiny fika?

Inform us What is your preferred way to find cozy in winter?

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7 Salem Homes Say 'Happy Holidays' With Floral Splendor

Homes in the Willows Area of Salem, Massachusetts, are decked out with Christmas cheer for the 2012 Christmas in Salem Historic House Tours, organized by Neighborhood florists, the Salem Garden Club and the Neighborhood preservation Collection Historic Salem. This place, which overlooks Salem Harbor, is also a popular Halloween destination, but visitors have another reason to visit it at Christmastime.

Mary Prince Photography

Winter White
Style: Dave Engs Flowers; Paula Gaull, New Leaf Redesign

This dining room table overlooks Salem Harbor and contains structures of pale pink roses and white amaryllis.

Mary Prince Photography

The designers stuck with a muted colour palette, using elegant white flowers and ribbons to dress up classic screen spaces, such as this mantel.

Mary Prince Photography

The family’s Christmas tree is put on the outdoor porch, to be appreciated from the foyer and the living area.

Mary Prince Photography

A Nautically Inspired Christmas
Style: Dave Engs Flowers

Sailing fans, these homeowners adorned using ship propellers and their nautical blue and white china. A simple arrangement of carnations, peonies and pinecones constitutes the centerpiece.

Mary Prince Photography

Sparkling, Sophisticated Elegance
Floral layout: Salem Garden Club

This home features subtle tropical accents of fruit and vibrant blossoms.

Mary Prince Photography

A petite arrangement of greens, yellow tomatoes along with a pinecone decorates an antique silver tea set.

Mary Prince Photography

Welcoming Conventional Warmth and Charm
Style: Flowers by Darlene

White roses and hydrangeas, plus a wreath on the mirror, bring the holiday season for this dining area.

Mary Prince Photography

A fruit-inspired mantel garland and wreath take the motif to a fireplace in a small sitting room between the kitchen and living area.

Mary Prince Photography

Mixing Decades: The 1800s Meets the 1950s
Style: Four Seasons Designs

Vintage toys and decorations create a whimsical mood. Under the Christmas tree are games in the 1950s.

Mary Prince Photography

The designer made a wreath from plants located in the homeowners’ seaside yard.

Mary Prince Photography

A trio of windows, each decorated with a candle, illuminates the stairs.

Mary Prince Photography

A Seaside North Pole
Style: Beautiful Things; Kathie Ballou of Ballou Design

A set of decorated vintage skis greets visitors to the home.

Mary Prince Photography

Evergreen arrangements liven up an outdoor work area.

Mary Prince Photography

The porch is adorned with alpine ambiance in your mind.

Mary Prince Photography

Two firewood holders have been packed with wood and adorned with greens and birch.

Mary Prince Photography

Victorian Christmas Style
Flowers by Darlene

A simple vase of red roses and greens leaves a tasteful dining table centerpiece.

See more pictures from Christmas in Salem

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