Removing Odors From The Kitchen

keeping a clean kitchenNo matter how clean a house is, any persistent and lingering odor can ruin the whole effect.

Here are some handy tips to deal with odors in your kitchen that I’ve learned over the years.

Using lemon, vinegar, herbs, bicarbonate of soda, washing powder and other readily available ingredients from your kitchen, you can eliminate odors easily.

Odors in the Refrigerator:

  • Remove all food and perishables. Wash the inside with a solution of 2 tspns full of baking soda or sodium bicarbonate dissolved in a liter of warm water.
  • Place a piece of crumbled news paper inside to absorb any smells.
  • Place a charcoal or a piece of coal. They’ll work in the same manner as do the charcoal based refrigerator fresheners available in stores.

Odors in the Microwave:

  • Clean the inside of a microwave with a soft cloth dipped in a solution of Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) dissolved in warm water. Then wipe clean with cotton soaked in lemon juice.
  • In a bowl pour some fresh lemon juice with a little water and heat it in the microwave for a minute. The microwave will smell fresh and together remove any odors present.

Freshly cut lemons keep cut sharp odors in your kitchen

Odors in the Sink:

Throw a couple of table spoons of washing soda down the plughole of your sink and then flush it with plenty of water.

Use a solution of caustic soda dissolved in warm water to unblock pipes from food waste and grime. They also add a bad smell to your kitchen and should be cleared of any clogs as quickly as possible.

Odors in the Trash Can:

Keep your trashcans clean by wiping them with a soft cloth soaked in a solution of any washing up liquid or powder in water.

Sprinkle some borax and lemon peels in the trashcan to dispel bad smell.

Cooking smells:

When cooking food with spices,always place a small dish containing vinegar on the work top to avoid smells spreading in the whole house.

When boiling vegetables such as cabbage put a leftover piece of bread inside before covering it with a lid. It’ll not let the smell penetrate into your house.

Rub plastic boards with a lemon wedge every 2-3 weeks to remove any smells from them.

To remove strong smells of fish or onion from your chopping boards, simply sprinkle some baking powder on top. Then a few drops of water. Spread the paste evenly and leave to stand for 3-4 hours. Wash with running water and dry.

To keep your kitchens smelling fresh, simple remedies are available in your kitchen only. All you’ve to do is keep things washed and cleaned up. If you fancy growing your own herbs, place some on your kitchen window sill. Also ensure there’s good ventilation in your house to eliminate any lingering odors.

Let me know some of your favorite tips and I’ll list them out here too. I love to share your website and ideas!

Decorating Your Kids Bedroom on a Budget

decorating kid bedroomDecorating a child’s bedroom on a budget.

Yes, You don’t have to break the piggy bank to create a beautiful bedroom for your child. When you consider all of the wear and tear that the average child will take out on their room, you should limit your spending.

It certainly makes sense, and it’s very easy to buy inexpensive furnishings for a child’s bedroom that will look great and be functional.

When you’re making your buying decisions for the room’s decor, paint, furniture, and all the other items you plan to include, make sure that you check paint and items for lead content or any other hazardous materials, that they’re fire retardant and any other considerations that could have the potential to harm the child’s health.

Don’t make any purchases for the child’s room that could harm the child’s health or safety. When decorating the room, try not to install any overhead objects that would have the potential of falling onto the child.

Whether your child is hyperactive or not, all children, their siblings and friends, will probably exude a lot of energy in the room that could cause things to go bump in the night. Etageres, bookcases, curios, lamps, and headboards, should be solid or affixed to the wall.

Shelves should be weighted evenly, and sit level on the floor, so that they won’t tip or fall easily. Lamps should be easy to reach to turn on and off.

When you’re ready to start decorating, the first thing to do is select the color. Your child will probably want to have some input as to the color of their bedroom. It would be great to have your child actively participate in the project.

child bedroom ideas

Just remember that you’re driving the decorating bus. Children typically have fickle tastes could tire of, as well as outgrow a theme quickly. Paint color is the least expensive way to decorate any room.

Be sure to check out the goofed up colors in your local hardware stores. These are paints that were mixed up incorrectly and the original person doesn’t want the paint. It’s strictly up to timing, but sometimes the goofed colors could be just what you wanted and super cheap.

When thinking about wall coverings, think of some nice photos of your child doing things they love. Maybe a picture of fther and son fishing, or them riding their bike. Family photos are boring and probably not what a kid wants on their walls.

You can also hang any certificates or awards your child earned. Or do something like buy a star NASA and hang that on the wall. Awards and certificates look cool on a wall and add different colors and design to a room that won’t get dated.

There are many options for finding really great bargain furnishings for a child’s bedroom. When you are deciding onbed room ideas for kids room the furniture pieces that are needed and that will make a good fit in the room, a major decision that you have to make is the bed or beds.

You have many choices as to what would be the most practical bed style. Keep in mind the child’s needs and overnights with friends. It’s important to think of the child’s bedroom not just as you and your child want it to be now, but buy with the future in mind.

It will ruin your budget to have to replace decor because the child has outgrown it in a short period of time.

Ikea has a fantastic selection of furnishings for children’s bedrooms. You could completely furnish, on a budget, from Ikea. If you do not have an Ikea in your hometown, check out the website: It’s an amazing resource for total decor on a shoestring.

Your local thrift shop, and consignment shops are treasure troves for small furnishings. When you’re shopping on a budget, your most valuable asset is your imagination.

Don’t like the finish on a child’s desk in the Salvation Army? Paint it a fun color, add stripes or polka dots to a chest of drawers or paint a headboard. Paint old picture frames and fill them with pictures of animals, flowers, baseball players, movie stars.

Have fun!

Last but not least, garage sales are the mother lode of incredible bargains and selections for decorating a child’s bedroom. If you have the time and the inclination, research your local paper, neighborhood signs and Craig’s List, for upcoming garage and yard sales that list children’s furnishings. You’ll be amazed by what’s out there for you.

Bedrooms are private spaces that should reflect the style of the home and the person who inhabits the room. Keep the decor of a child’s bedroom simple, and try to create storage areas for their stuff.

A child will want their bedroom to be their domain with lots of places to store their toys and treasures.

Keep the child’s bedroom calm and bright, select future heirlooms for pennies on the dollar and create a bedroom for your child that will be a beautiful memory forever.

You Can Decorate Your Home

interior design is easier than you thinkYes, you can decorate your home. All it takes is a little time and creativity. It only takes as much money as you want to spend. Paint doesn’t cost very much and you more than likely have everything else you need.

Sometimes just switching the furniture and accessories around and a good cleaning will do the job. So look at your home and think of what you can do to make it a brighter,more comfortable, cheerful place.

You Can Decorate Your Home

There is really no place like home and it doesn’t take a magic wand to turn your home into a castle, neither do you need a handyman or a suitcase full of money.

With a little time, creativity and a few basic skills you can do it. Your home can set the mood for depression and gloom or it can be a comforting and cheerful place. So why not make it positive and cheerful?

When you look at other up-beat rooms and your own, you will be able to see exactly why yours isn’t working. Learn to listen to your space and discern what it’s saying to you.

You may already have a good idea where to begin. Choose a room and see what you like and dislike about it. Jot it down on your list. What do you want to use the room for? Write that down too. Make notes of what you want to change.

Look at magazines and clip pictures that you like, that you think would work in your room. Keep collecting and editing as you go.

Do some pricing on line and see how much you will need for paint, shelving and fixtures. See what you have that you can make do with.

Measure your room and sketch out the shape on a sheet of paper. Mark the windows. Measure pieces of furniture and find a good location for them.

You may not need to do anything but put on a coat of fresh paint. Paint can do wonders to brighten up a room. Maybe you will decide to paint, put on fresh slip covers and hang different curtains.

Gather new fresh ideas and consider all your options.

To make your room look taller, paint the ceiling a cooler lighter color than the walls. To make a small room seem larger, paint it a light color. Paint a darker matte color to make the room seem cozy.

Floors should be neutral. A bare wood floor can be refinished, stained darker or bleached, or you can paint it. Or use carpet tiles that can easily be changed out.

Beware of contrast between rooms.

If you need furniture, thrift stores and garage sales are good sources. Don’t overload your room with too much furniture. Use one larger decoration for a center piece that you build the rest of the room around.

I used and old leather saddle. it’s rustic, natural with great earthy tones that could be used in any decor. And I like that I re-used something rather than it be thrown away. I just Googled “used Western saddles for sale” and found one a a great price. It really makes a great conversation piece.

If your room is small consider moving some pieces of furniture out. You may be able to switch some furnishings from one room to another. There really are no rules that you can’t have a love seat in a bedroom or yu must have a sofa in the living room.

Make the focus of your room a fireplace, TV, window or some other distinctive feature of the room and distribute furnishing around it. This brings the eye to one focal point and makes the room feel “tied in” rather than just a bunch  of stuff strewn about.

Now, aren’t you proud of your decorating ability?

Carpet Flor Tiles Make Carpeting Easy!

Flor carpet tilesWhen it comes time to re-carpet your home, a vacant unit or your association’s gym, club house or recreation room, one product worth considering is Flor carpet tiles. While the name Flor, a division of Interface, may seem foreign to most DIYers, you’ve probably been walking on Interface products for years without realizing it.

Prior to developing their residential Flor brand tiles, Interface was a premiere provider of commercial carpet tiles for corporate, government, healthcare and retail settings.

Flor carpet tiles come in a variety of colors and price points, but the truth is they are not as inexpensive as apartment grade carpeting and probably never will be. They also don’t work on stairs.

I was lucky enough to be told about these by a friend who owns a property management firm, so he goes through a LOT of carpet!

For those of you still reading this review, here’s why I install Flor carpet tiles in my home:

*Only worn out or stained beyond cleaning tiles are replaced

*Tiles can be picked up and cleaned in the sink, no carpet cleaning service needed

*Installation is simple, no backing, glues or nails required

*Low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) — the smelly stuff

*High recycled content

*Primarily manufactured in the US

*They have a return and recycle program, so I can send old carpet tiles back to the company and they will turn them into carpeting again. This is known as a closed-loop system – the best kind.

The real beauty in these are the convenience of laying the tiles. Because each tile is the size of a normal tile, 12×12, and because there is no bonding materials like glue, if any tile gets damaged and can’t be cleaned or fixed, you simply pop out the bad tile and pop in a new one!

That’s all there is to it.

Think about it this way. Say you have two living rooms. One has regular carpet, the other has these Flor tiles. Now say each sustains a large stain right in the middle of the carpet.

With carpet one, you have no choice but to replace the entire carpet with quite a large cash out lay.

Option two, you just need to replace the stained tiles. Even if it is 4 or 6 tiles, which do you think is FAR more expensive? Replacing an entire carpet or a few carpet tiles?

And with a regular carpet, you need padding and a nail boarder. You need neither with these Flor tiles!

There are just too many benefits in using these. Definitely a must see option!

Decorating the Guest Room/Office for Easter

easter decor for bedroomIf you have guests coming for Easter, start planning now for decorating the room so that it is both functional and festive. The ideas below will get you started on creating a space that works for both your office and your guests.

Crisp Colors

The easiest and most effective way to spruce up the room for guests and the Easter holiday is to infuse some fun, spring colors into the mix. There are the usual pastels that will help to get you in the spirit of things, but there are also brighter colors that you may want to use instead.

A cheerful yellow combined with a brilliant white is a beautiful way to bring out the colors of spring while also maintaining a sense of style and class.

Teal blue paired with a chocolate brown is also another color combination that will work well in both an office and guest room setting. Remember that the key to decorating for Easter is also to make the space look as natural as possible. While a pastel can transition into late spring and early summer, a bold, bunny print fabric will go quickly out of season.


Forget vases of fresh cut flowers when it comes to decorating your home office/guest room. The flowers will quickly fade, your busy lifestyle will take over, and the vase will never get refilled. Instead, decorate by adding a potted plant or arrangement to your desk, the bedside table or wherever there is a flat, smooth, wide surface.

You can make the basket or container festive by adding a seasonal bow or floral pick. A quick trip to the craft store will yield a great many results for such floral decorations.


While the majority of the fabric should be a solid or lightly patterned neutral, the curtains are one easy area that you can spruce up with a decorative curtain. You may opt to keep your heavy, light-blocking curtains, but replace the sheer curtain beneath with a handmade Easter one.

A cute Celestis Easter fabric can be cut to length and width, hemmed, and folded down to create a simple pocket curtain. Slide the curtain rod through the pocket and you will be ready to go.

Change the curtains as the seasons or holidays change, but be sure to store them away so that they can be used the following year.

Finding ways to decorate the multi-use space can be especially challenging when you are in the middle of working or preparing for guests. If you start thinking ahead about easy ways that you can make a big difference in your room’s decor, you will find that decorating becomes a breeze.

Your room will look festive and you will not have to spend days trying to get it ready for guests.

Mixing & Matching Fabrics

mixing and matching fabrics for the homeMixing and matching fabrics designs, color and scale is an art which is easy to learn. Furnishings with simple lines invite fabrics that are more complex in color or texture, whereas detailed, ornate shapes demand more subdued fabrics.

Most people use two fabrics when decorating a room — a print and a solid. You can add interest and variety by using three fabrics in a room with a pleasing mix of color, pattern, scale and texture.

First, begin by choosing an anchor fabric. Be sure it is a pattern that you love, because it is the main pattern by which you will be choosing the other fabrics. For your anchor fabric, choose a pattern with a minimum of three colors. Choose two more fabrics, each having one or two of the anchor fabric colors in their pattern.

Vary the three fabrics in contrast. One fabric should be light, one medium and one dark.
Change the scale or size of the patterns by choosing one fabric with a large pattern, one medium and one small. Solids fall into the small-pattern category. Using all the same size patterns will cause each one to overpower the other.

Of course, fabric decisions will depend upon your room’s ‘design styles’. This means that a particular style will require a specific material pattern. You don’t want to use large tropical florals with an Americana or Modern style. Do some on-line research if necessary to find a special fabric style and pattern that works with your style. You will find a lot of companies that supply design style fabrics and coordinating materials.

The ideal room would have both smooth- and rough-textured fabrics, so choose fabrics of varying texture. Look at wools (roughly textured), cottons (smooth) and silks (ultra smooth). Also, consider fabrics with sequins, beads or other embellishments to get a wider variety of textures and looks.

Also, keep-in-mind that fabric colors; like paint appear different in various lighting. So, be sure to bring home a sample and view it in your home lighting. Another think to consider is the rooms sunlight exposure. Bright color fabrics will appear even brighter when exposed to direct sunlight.

Today, fabric companies are offering coordinated fabric sets; which mean choosing matching fabrics is getting easier and the decision making is much quicker. So, shopping for fabrics is getting a little easier especially when using their website to help you make decisions.

The print is the anchor fabric, and the green and beige fabrics reflect its colors. The print fabric is medium-toned, with a large-scale curvy pattern and rough in texture, with a dull sheen. The green fabric is darker than the anchor fabric, with a straight, small-scale pattern, a smooth texture and a bit of sheen. The beige fabric is lighter than the anchor fabric, with a straight, small-scale pattern, a rough texture and a dull sheen. Together these three fabrics give a room an interesting mix of color, pattern, scale, texture and sheen.

Recycled Paper Prefab Home Offers Shelter for Refugees and the Homeless

Prefabricated house made from recycled paper could hold the key to affordable, green housing

swisscell for recycled houseIt’s called the Universal World House, or the Wall AG, and although it may not look like much, this eco-friendly, earthquake-proof and easy-to-assemble home could be the answer for affordable shelter in impoverished and war-torn countries. It might also be a glimmer of hope for millions of people in need of shelter in America.

Created by Swiss designer Gerd Niemöller, the Universal World House comes with built-in plumbing, 8 single and double built-in beds, shelves, tables and an open veranda. The inside walls are designed with honeycomb air vacuums that act as insulation and support for the entire home structure.

The coolest part: the home is made from a material called Swisscell, which is composed of recycled paper and cardboard, and altogether it weighs less than 1,800 pounds (the equivalent to a VW Golf)! And any wiring uses fiberglass cable conduit which is stronger AND less expensive then other wiring options. Oh, and it’s also rain resistant.

An article in the UK Times Online says that more than 2000 homes have been ordered by a Nigerian company, and “development aid agencies are considering whether the houses could be used to accommodate those fleeing from the cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe. South America, too, is interested.”

The goal of the Universal World House is to get itself manufactured in Germany, and then shipped to countries around the world that need it the most. The only problem may be its $5,000 price tag, which is cheaper than most homes, but still out of reach for many people.

I think that this is a great idea, but I hope to see it made more affordable in the future. What do you think?

Here Are 10 Ways to Recycle Plastic Bottles into Something Fun!

Plastic bottles aren’t just an eye sore when you see them strewn on the streets. They are an ecological nightmare taking hundreds of years to break down. After all, plastic is really just oil in a different form. And plastic bottles are made by the millions daily!

So where so all of these bottles go?

Usually to the dump. Or worse, they’re dumped into the ocean where they float around forever, killing all sorts of fish and other sea creatures. Then washing up on some shore only to need to be picked up, thrown away and start a new life in the ocean.

It’s ridiculous!

So when I started watching what can be done to use these bottles rather than them just being thrown into the dump, I was really happy to see this video that shows, step by step what to do to transform this “garbage” into something useful using a little DIY elbow grease.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did and it sparks some creativity. Happy New Year!


5 Green DIY Lamps You Can Build Before Dark!

It was so popular we decided to surf the web and pick out examples of lamps you can build yourself from scratch – or at least from stuff that would otherwise be tossed out, like the iMac G4 lamp pictured below. It makes sense – almost anything can be turned into a lamp base or lamp shade, and every hardware or building supply store carries lamp wiring kits. Making your own one-of-a-kind lamp saves money and keeps stuff out of landfills and the lights on at home. You are limited only by your imagination. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity.

diy lamps









Photo: Randall 180

Lamp from Wine Bottles

Drain the bottle, wire it up, and build a lamp. Gives you a reason to keep drinking. Here are a few variations on that theme











The website Remodelista has a DIY wine bottle lamp project inspired by Maison Martin Margiela’s home line. To make this reclaimed bottle lamp you’ll need a wine bottle. Think “vintage” – pun intended. Get a cork stopper lamp kit and put a lampshade on it. Fill the wine bottle with colored stones or shells or glass for extra ballast.

Bottle of Pixies Lamp














Is that a genie in your bottle or are you just glad to see me? Before you put away your wine glass, you might want to try this variation on the theme From Instructables – put a string of colored lights inside the bottle for a conversation piece. Add a dimmer switch or flasher for special effects.

DIY Upcycled Wine Bottle Gas Lamp

And Green Upgrader has a very cool wall mounted gas lamp you can make from a wine bottle – a beer bottle or whisky, cider, brandy… you get the picture.










Fill this with citronella oil and fend off mosquitoes this summer.

Simple Oil Lamp


You can also make a small oil lamp for practically nothing from some scrap cotton, a juice or iced tea bottle and a little olive oil. No electricity or batteries. Runs for 8-10 hours.








Just remove the metal cap from the glass bottle and poke a slit in it with a scissors. Cut a cotton strip about half an inch wide and five inches long and pull it through the cap. Leave half an inch sticking out of the cap. Fill the bottle with oil, replace the cap and light it.

There’s a DIY video here.


What can you repurpose as lighting? Remember, it’s better to build a reclaimed lamp than to curse the landfill!