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Magnetic Appliance Covers Perk up Boring Dishwashers and Washing Machines

If you have a dinged and dented, boring old dishwasher or washing machine that’s something of an eyesore, you could spend hundreds (or thousands) on new models, but if they’re still working fine, perhaps you could just perk them up with a little artistic flair.

The “Playful Kittens In Basket Magnetic Appliance Cover” adds a whimsical touch, and there are other images and scenes you can pick up as well. (This stainless steel magnet makes your avocado dishwasher from the 80s look like a sleek, modern model.)

Prices start around $12 at Amazon, so the magnets are definitely a lot more affordable than new appliances!

 

magnetic-appliance-cover

Sleek Black Carbon Fiber Bathtub from Corcel

Bathtubs have a tendency to be white. Or off-white. Oh, sure we’ve seen a few exceptions (such as this natural stone granite tub), but people usually play it safe with the tub. They certainly don’t buy solid black, carbon fiber models.

But…this sleek bathtub from Corcel might change your mind.

“A symbol of opulence equal to the gold toilet, this carbon fiber tub sports a sleek, streamlined shape, is best matched with a modern, standalone faucet, and may/may not come from space and make racecar noises, as the movie suggests. Limited to just 51 units worldwide.”

The price hasn’t been announced yet, but if they’re only making 51 tubs, you can bet owning one will come at a premium!

corcel-carbon-fiber-bath-tub

corcel-black-carbon-bath-tub

via Uncrate

Warm Your Toes with an Alpaca Rug This Winter

With summer on the wane, it’s time to start thinking of fall and winter.

The cooler weather might have you imagining of curling up in front of the fireplace on a chilly night. If you have styling hardwood floors, sitting by the hearth might not be all that comfortable, though, not unless you have a cushy rug. Perhaps one made from alpaca wool?

This “luxury fiber” can be used just like sheep wool (spun into yarn or made into felt), but it’s softer and warmer than most kinds of sheep wool and doesn’t have as much of a prickly feel against your skin. It tends to be more expensive than sheep wool, but can make a fine rug that you’ll prize for its softness and warmth.

 

alpaca rug

Affordable Vessel Sinks for Your Bathroom Remodel

Vessel sinks are often a choice for high-end bathroom remodels, but you needn’t spend a fortune to get a handsome piece. If you can handle the installation yourself, you can save even more money. The hardware isn’t always included with these sinks, so you’ll have to pick that out yourself.

Take a look at some of the affordable vessel sinks available online:

Tempered Glass Vessel Bathroom Sink

This half-inch thick glass sink costs less than $40 from Best Choice Products (available through Amazon). Purchased directly from the factory to save you money, it features a timeless design that will look good in your bathroom.

tempered-glass-vessel-sink

Inello Smoke Black Vessel Sink

Another tempered glass sink, this one comes in smoky black with a European style. As one reviewer writes, “Ordered this sink on line with accessories. It arrived quickly and everyone loves it…even the plumber who installed it. It is unique and looks great in my new black and white bathroom…very satisfied.”

Pick it up for $55.

inello-smoke-glass-sink-vessel

Porcelain Ceramic Vessel Sink

If you’re not into round or glass sinks, there are also a number of affordable options in ceramic and square or rectangular shapes. This simple but attractive model costs less than $60.

affordable-porcelain-vessel-sink

Designer Drains or “Jewelry for Your Shower”

When it comes to upgrading the shower part of your bathroom, there are lots of things you can do. For instance, maybe you’re thinking of a new showerhead, something with jets? Or perhaps a steam generator to turn your stall into a mini steam room? And of course you’ll want to get snazzy fixtures and maybe some custom textured glass walls or doors. But what about the drain?

This necessary shower piece is often overlooked, but it’s an additional spot where you can add flair in the bathroom.

The aptly named Designer Drains site has a variety of interesting options, whether you need a square or round drain, a geometric pattern or something inspired by nature. Prices start around $50 and can run as high as $140 for a seahorse-styled drain from their “Oceanus” line, but that may not be a large investment for something you’ll look at every day.

Designer Drains

 

Door Art Prints Spruce up Ugly Security Doors

If you’re in an apartment building and inherited a sturdy but ugly metal security door, you may find it something of an eyesore. You could try hiding it with some of the full-sized prints from Sensunels.

Designed by famous designer Karim Rashid, these door decals can spruce up ugly doors or simply improve boring ones, offering a bit of life to your office space or drab rooms in the house.

Head over to the designer’s site to browse through a gallery of colorful and creative options.

 

Door Art

Give Your Leaf Blower More Versatility with a Gutter Attachment

It’s fun blowing leaves into tidy piles on the ground, but what about those soggy heaps of leaves up on the roof? The ones the rain washes into the gutters where they clog up everything?

If you have a Weed Eater leaf blower, you can grab the Weed Eater Gutter Cleaning Blower Attachment. It lets you clean out your gutters without ever having to get up on the roof.

A pivoting tube lets you direct the air all directions, so you can get hard to reach (hard to blow?) spots from the ground. The attachment works with both gas and electric Weed Eater leaf blowers and is available for about $40 at Amazon:

Gutter Cleaning Blower Attachment

Leaf Blower Attachment for Gutters

Ipe Wood Tiles Make for Easy Deck Installation

If you’d like the look and feel of a wood deck, but all you have is a balcony, cement patio, or other bland outdoor surface, you could check into these deck tiles from East Teak Fine Hardwoods.

Ipe is an exotic hardwood that does a good job resisting rot, decay, and other foes the weather will throw at you. It’s similar to teak in durability but costs much less.

When ipe tiles age, they develop a silvery gray patina, but you can maintain their rich dark-brown color by applying a penetrating wood sealer.

These tiles can be installed over an existing flat surface, so getting a new “deck” becomes a simple weekend project for any DIY type. You can also install them over packed gravel with good drainage or an old but still structurally sound deck.

 

ipe-deck-tiles

Sleep Better with Screens and Light Bulbs That Filter out Blue Light Rays

A lot of us stay up late, watching television or plucking away at our computers (I know I’m in that crowd), and apparently this can be detrimental to our health, at least insofar as getting a good night’s sleep is concerned. Our bodies create melatonin, the “sleep hormone” and, according to LowBlueLights.com, “Melatonin is produced by your pineal gland, normally only when you are in darkness. Using artificial light [specifically the blue rays in artificial light] in the evening before going to bed shuts down melatonin production.” In short, it can harm our ability to get a good night’s sleep.

The solution?

Well, you could simply stay away from the artificial lights, tvs, and computers before bedtime, but what would one do in the dark anyway? Well, besides that.

That website offers a few solutions. You can get a filter to place over your laptop, tv, or ipad screen. You can also get wrap-around glasses to wear for an hour or so before bed (until you turn the lights out), or you can get light bulbs that are coated to eliminate the blue rays. The LowBlueLights website sells all these and has more articles on the importance of melatonin in sleep.

Blue ray blocking light bulb

 

Key Cabinet Boosts Home Security

If you have a big family, and lots of people come and go around your house, it makes sense to keep your car and house keys someplace safe. No, tossing them on the ledge by the front door doesn’t count.

A key cabinet is an inexpensive investment, and it can boost your overall home security, since you always know where your keys are. It can also help out if you’re prone to leave your keys all over the house and lose them from time to time–having a set place to store them might save you some time in the mornings.

The First Alert 3060F Steel Key Cabinet is an inexpensive option (less than $20 at Amazon), and it should offer plenty of key storage space for the average family. Of course, you need a key to get into the unit. For a little more, you can buy one that you access through a combination code. An example is the GE AccessPoint TouchPoint 30-Key Cabinet.

Either would be a good investment and make for a safe place to store your keys.

key cabinets