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What to Do With That Empty Space Above Your Kitchen Cabinets

I did a lot of apartment hopping in my 20s, and while my temporary homes often varied significantly in terms of location and style, most had a few things in common: tiny bathrooms, limited storage space, and a big ol’ gap over the kitchen cabinets. I understand why the latter is often necessary, especially in apartments—if you installed standard-size cabinets flush with the ceiling, there’s no way you’d ever be able to reach inside them—but that didn’t make the gaping space any less awkward. Most of the time, I just let the space above my cabinets go to waste, but there are ways you can make better use of it—as a display for decorations, extra storage space, or a combination of both. The internet has plenty of ideas for decorating above kitchen cabinets, and these are a few of my favorites. Read More >> …

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The Frittata That Bought Us a House

No matter how many times I brought it up, Epiphania always gave the same sad answer in her cadenced, Italian accent: “No, you can’t buy it! The house is not on the market!” I knew the instant we walked into the Connecticut farmhouse that this was the place for us. Initially, we were there looking for a place to rent because my husband, Bob, had been offered the directorship of a museum nearby. Our plan was to get to know the area and eventually buy a place. This would mean a long commute for me back to the Hudson Valley, but this was a terrific new opportunity for him. Even though we were only there to consider renting the place, in those first few moments in the grandma kitchen, with its tiny-apple wallpaper and vintage wood stove, I had an uncanny feeling that this was where we belonged. Read More >> …

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17 Father’s Day Gifts, Because It’ll Be Here Soon

I tend to be an early shopper when it comes to gifts and I love searching for the perfect present whether it’s a beautiful coffee table books or something more utilitarian like a great T-shirt or tool. As someone who’s known to have all her Christmas shopping done in October, it’s no surprise that I’m pretty punctual with other holidays, too, especially when it comes to the biggies like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I realize that not everyone has the same chip I have in my brain that tells me I need to start shopping for my dad like, right now. But given shipping delays due to the pandemic, one month doesn’t feel like a long time at all. So whether it’s a busy schedule or you’re just overwhelmed with too many options, we’ve got the best last-minute gift ideas for your dad, grandad, or any father figure right here. Read More >> …

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7 Essentials You Need to Make Your Staycation the Best Vacation

Since I’m not traveling much these days, I’ve started thinking of my summer weekends as staycations.
My usual routine when the weekend rolls in is to laze around on my couch until guilt kicks in, then scramble to fit in a workout, run errands, and heave my many loads of laundry to the laundromat down the street. All good and worthwhile things to do, of course. But when I think of Friday evening as the kick-off to a mini two-day vacation rather than as a weekend that’s always too short, the next 48 hours feel more relaxing and longer. I’ll check out a new restaurant one night, dip into a bookstore the next morning, and even bring coffee and breakfast to the park on Sunday. I’ll also stock the fridge and freezer with summertime treats like watermelon, berries, and ice cream, and when I’m ready for a break, I’ll take an afternoon siesta. Suddenly, my weekend feels…

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Everything You Need to Know About Growing Beans

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty. The bean has always held a special nostalgia for me. Some of my fondest childhood memories include standing at the kitchen sink helping my grandma snap beans after an afternoon of climbing the apple trees in her backyard. There’s something about that repetitive movement and the sound of snapping that still brings me comfort in my own kitchen as an adult—which is why it’s a vegetable I always have in my summer garden. Read More >> …

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I’ll Never Use a Bath Towel Again

You know that glorious feeling when you emerge from the ocean, trot back to your beach chair, and snuggle up in your towel like it’s a big ol’ blanket? Or after you’ve had a refreshing shower in a hotel bathroom, and you wrap yourself up in a fluffy white towel and flop on the bed to watch some TV, only to fall asleep in its cozy comfort? What if I told you that you could channel those experiences in your own home? Here’s how: bath sheets. Read More >> …

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The Best Vegetables to Grow in Raised Garden Beds

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty. Every year during the strawberry harvest, I daydream of growing strawberries in a long, narrow raised bed (tabletop height, so I don’t have to crouch, crawl, and squat to pick the berries, which is quite tedious). But a raised bed for my sizable strawberry patch would be a considerable undertaking and expense. Plus, I would need not just one but two beds to ensure a seamless harvest. Read More >> …

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Silly Sponges Are Just What Your Kitchen Needs

As a recent college grad who moved back home to New York City, I’ve been to countless apartment warming parties of friends who trickled into the Big Apple after graduation. When thinking (read: overthinking) about the right gift to bring over to their cozy (read: tiny) spaces, naturally, I came across the ubiquitous bottle of just-expensive-enough wine, a small houseplant with a questionable life expectancy, or a very-likely-to-become-a-fire-hazard candle. Well, here’s where the silly kitchen sponge comes in—it sounds a little wacky, but just hear me out. They have all the qualities the aforementioned gifts lack, but with added practicality, personality, near indestructibility, and an undeniable sense of humor. Silly, fun, and irreverent, these sponges are the perfect mix of form and function. Read More >> …

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Those Handmade Whisk Brooms You Love? You Can DIY Them.

Can You Dig It is a new monthly series by Kristin Guy in which a real-life garden DIY is tackled with real style. Whether you’ve got an expansive outdoor plot or just a few houseplants, Kristin will inspire you to grow even more with easy-to-tackle projects and horticultural know-how. Confession time: I love brooms. Specifically, tiny handmade brooms. In fact, if you peeped into my greenhouse, you’d find not one, but four handcrafted brooms hanging on my workbench. There’s something special about the care and detail spent on an object most find utilitarian. I like to think of it as an extension of my horticultural work—a beautiful object that plays an important part of my routine, and turns an ordinary act (in this case, cleaning) into an extraordinary celebration of completion. Read More >> …

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Why a Sustainable-ish Kitchen Is Good Enough For Me

We’ve teamed up with the food waste fighters at Imperfect Foods to share tips for living a more eco-friendly life. Start small with an affordable grocery service (hello, Imperfect Foods) that makes an impact through the food they deliver—like misshapen produce and surplus snacks that would otherwise go unused—then explore more possibilities for building a less wasteful world. When you stop to think about food waste, pollution, global warming, and all of the other problems the earth is facing—let alone how to tackle them—it can feel, well, daunting to say the least. But something that brings me comfort is understanding how my own sustainable practices can make a difference. That’s not to say that I live a perfectly eco-friendly lifestyle, but over the years I’ve come to accept (and celebrate) when am I trying my best. Read More >> …

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Brooklinen’s Big Birthday Sale Has Us Adding Everything to Cart

For anyone who’s in the market for fresh sheets, towels, and robes, you’re in luck. Brooklinen is celebrating its eighth birthday and decided to give everyone a major sale—it also happens to be the brand’s biggest outside of its Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. Now through May 4, take 20 percent off everything at Brooklinen, no minimum needed. The only exclusions are non-Brooklinen products, which is perfectly fine with us because there are plenty of soft bed sheets, thick towels, cozy robes, and dreamy candles to choose from. Read More >> …

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11 Outdoor Rugs to Instantly Transform Your Space

Outdoor rugs might sound like nice-to-have decor when compared to a table set-up for all your meals or mosquito repellent for all their meals. But we’d argue that they’re an essential part of any outdoor space. They can make your space feel infinitely cozier and more like an extension of your home—which is what we’d want our decks and patios to feel like anyway. If your outdoor space has seen better days, a good rug can hide a worn-out stain, paint chips, or mysterious food remnants. It’s also much more comfy for bare feet—my wooden deck is beautiful, but comfortable it is not. Read More >> …

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How Much Mulch Is Too Much Mulch?

Pass through any residential street in the suburbs and you’ll probably notice trees with mulch piled up high around their bases. In gardening lingo, this is called a “mulch volcano,” something not only unnecessary—and a waste of mulch—but also harmful to the tree. Mulching, when done properly, is one of the most important gardening tasks, especially in the spring. Roger Swain, the legendary host of the PBS television show The Victory Garden, wrote, “If I did nothing more, I would mulch.” Similar to watering, fertilizing, and applying other products—organic or not—to your plants, more is usually not better; you need to strike the balance between being generous and overdoing it. Read More >> …

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Seeds vs. Plants: A Buying Guide for Vegetable Gardeners

Vibrant, marbled pineapple tomatoes; adorable Easter Egg radishes without a single crack, unblemished rainbow Swiss chard leaves: looking at the images of vegetables in seed catalogs can be inspirational but also disappointing because you know that none of your homegrown veggies will ever look like this. The kaleidoscope of those images is an effective tactic, though: it makes you buy more seeds than you need. It also makes you buy seeds for vegetables that you’re probably better off buying as seedlings. While I have been gardening for almost two decades now, I’m still not immune to those temptations. But following a set of clear criteria–what to grow from seed and what to buy as seedings, and in what quantity—has helped me become a much more realistic shopper for my vegetable garden. Read More >> …

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Everyone (Literally Everyone) Loves This Dutch Oven

A cast iron Dutch oven is one of the most essential and versatile pieces of cookware you can own. Similar to its enameled Dutch oven cousins, these large pots are heavy with thick, high walls and a tight-fitting lid that can simmer big batches of turkey chili and pot roast, sear and brown meat to perfection, and more. But unlike ones with a shiny enamel coating, pure cast iron ovens have better heat retention, and typically come pre-seasoned, meaning they’ve been treated with cooking oil for a non-stick finish, too. From Our Shop Milo by Kana Cast Iron Classic Dutch Oven, 5.5QT $135 More Colors

Smithey Cast Iron Dutch Oven $200–$295 More Sizes

When we chatted with five pros and…

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6 Removable Wallpaper Mistakes I’ll Never Make Again

My powder room was begging for an accent wall. I spent hours looking for the perfect removable wallpaper online and landed upon a utterly charming pattern: little owls perched on branches. When the day came to hang the wallpaper, I carefully measured; lined up the patterning; and used one of those wallpaper smoothing tools to get all the bubbles out. It turned out lovely and I went to bed thinking about how beautiful the bathroom looked. The next morning, I sleepily came downstairs to make breakfast, and realized in horror that the wallpaper had not just fallen right off, it was sticking to itself. Later that day, I managed to repeat the entire process and hung it once again, only to have it fall off hours later. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Read More >> …

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The Best Food Dehydrators for Beef Jerky, Fruit Leather & More

Those wrinkly little cranberries in your trail mix, the apple “chips” you eat by the handful, even the dried orange wheel topping off your cocktail—these foods have had the moisture sucked out of them by a food dehydrator, leaving behind concentrated flavors that sing and delight our taste buds. Dehydrated food has a bed rep as tough beef jerky or dried fruit so hard it can crack a tooth, but leave it to the pros and home cooks who use a food dehydrator day in and day out to tell you all about the wonders of the countertop appliance. In fact, if you’re in the market for a dehydrator but aren’t sure where to start, we have just the list for you. Read More >> …

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How to Clean Every Single Crevice in a Waffle Iron

The dichotomy between eating fluffy golden brown waffles doused in maple syrup and having to subsequently clean the waffle iron couldn’t be starker. Waffles are my sick-day food. They’re my Saturday morning food. They’re my it’s-a-snow-day-and-I-want-breakfast-for-dinner food. I jump off the couch at the opportunity to consume waffles, plain or studded with chocolate chips. But when it comes time to clean the waffle iron, I decide, in that moment, that it’s probably a good time for me to reorganize my closet, go through every shelf in my bookcase and make a donation pile of old YA romances, take up water polo, or read archived files from Watergate. Nothing defines the word “chore” like cleaning your waffle iron. And yet, it must be done. I will neither confirm nor deny whether or not I’ve ever cleaned a waffle iron before, but there’s no day like today, so let’s get into it. From Our Shop …

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The Tabletop Brand That Turns Scraps Into Your Favorite Napkins

For Atelier Saucier founders Nikki Reed and Staci Inspektor, their meet-cute more than a decade ago was basically the business version of love at first sight. From the first moment they met at a mutual friend’s party in Los Angeles, Reed says something just felt different. Inspektor adds, “We just knew from the start that we wanted to build a brand together. We’re both super hardworking, creative, and just see eye-to-eye on almost everything, so it was a great partnership from the beginning.” The duo come from two different, yet complementary backgrounds. Inspektor brings with her a formal fashion education from UC Davis and a specific interest in bespoke, small-batch design. “Ever since I was a little kid, I just loved making things and sewing,” she says. For her part, Reed married her hospitality management degree from Cornell and a seven-year stint at the Hillstone Restaurant Group. By the time she and Inspektor met, she had…

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Proof That Beautiful Soap Dishes *Do* Exist

A few years ago, I was laser-focused on ridding my life of single-use plastics. One of the changes I made was to switch from liquid soaps to bar soap. (If you haven’t come around to bar soap yet, let fellow contributor Chantal Lamers persuade you.) I quickly realized that a soap dish was in order, but when I started shopping, it was challenging to find anything that matched my aesthetics. Instead, many of them were basic, plastic designs—the very material I was trying to avoid—or they were sold as part of a matching set with bathroom accessories like tissue box or toothbrush holders that I didn’t need. I finally found a handmade ceramic one through Etsy. Fast forward to today: It seems like cool soap dishes are everywhere. Etsy is overflowing with modern soap trays (concrete, terrazzo, clay, glass!); major retailers have options beyond the basics (and with no need to purchase a matching suite of…

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The Hands-Free Cleaning Hack for Those Stubborn Burnt Bits

I clean to procrastinate. So it was bittersweet when, a few years ago, by way of dinner party chaos, I accidentally discovered a trick that both dissolves all of the burnt build-up on my dirtiest dishes with ease, and is nearly completely hands-free. Read More >> …

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4 Surprising (& Very Practical) Uses for Your Cake Stand

If you haven’t noticed yet, cake stands are ubiquitous in interiors photography. If you dropped onto Earth for an intergalactic romp and mined our spaces for anthropologic clues, you might imagine humans subsist solely on cake (well, you might not be totally wrong…). Our love for baked goods notwithstanding, our lifestyles are considerably more diverse. Yet there it is, on every still life table: a lovely mound of flour, butter, and sugar on an ornate pedestal. A cake signals a celebratory occasion, yes, but there’s a more practical explanation: cake stands look damn good. They add dimension to any flat surface, introducing new materials, shapes, and heights—a trifecta ripe for a styling slam dunk. Read More >> …

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A DIY Potting Tarp to Make Indoor Gardening Mess-Free

Can You Dig It is a new monthly series by Kristin Guy in which a real-life garden DIY is tackled with real style. Whether you’ve got an expansive outdoor plot or just a few houseplants, Kristin will inspire you to grow even more with easy-to-tackle projects and horticultural know-how. Spring is here, and with it the anticipation of more plant projects both indoors and out. With daylight lingering longer, no matter where you live, it’s hard to want to stay indoors any longer than you need to. Right now I’m harvesting the remainder of my winter greens and tinkering with them in the kitchen, starting seeds, and focusing on the new delicious season ahead (I see you, tomatoes!). I guess you could say for most gardeners it’s go time—aka, the most exciting (and busiest) time of the year. Read More >> …

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How to Make Soap at Home (Even if You Failed Chemistry)

My experimentations with homemade soap began when I became enamored with making things at home, like maintaining my own sourdough starter, painting my own kitchen cabinets, and repairing my own clothes. Even if time-consuming, I found that doing things myself, from start to finish, was immensely rewarding. It gave me a far greater appreciation for the goods that came my way, and made me a lot more conscious (in a good way) of the quality of ingredients. 
As time went by and my life got busier, my hobbies went on the backburner. However, soapmaking stuck around. It was very complicated at first, and therefore can be off-putting to some, but I’ve actually found it has one of the best effort-to-reward ratios out of all my hobbies. Much like knitting, it’s a meditative activity and a creative outlet. But unlike knitting, just a few evenings or weekends of work can reap great rewards, as well as furnish me…

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The Essential Spring Care Guide for Your Houseplants

Potted greenery is the perfect way to connect with nature when spending time indoors—my own green roommates have been wonderful company through the winter. Now that spring is here, it’s the best time to tend to your botanical buddie—whether you’ve got a few or 100—before making a break for the actual outdoors. While proper watering and correct sun exposure are your first priorities when bringing home a plant, there are a few other ways to ensure that your plants continue to grow and thrive through the seasons: soil health, pest inspections, and even a little leaf management are all important habits to add to your seasonal care routines. I know that tackling a huge to-do list, when all you want to do is head outdoors, can seem daunting, especially if your plants are in the multiples. Try carving out the time to make these tasks enjoyable—break them up into bite-sized goals that you can tend to…

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