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Sheltering in Place? Here’s a Worthy Home Health and Safety Project

Thanks to Covid-19, we are all spending more time at home and more time cleaning. Once you've got your  anti-virus protocols in place, since you're already focused on healthy and safety, why not look at other ways you can protect yourself and your family? To that end, I'd like to introduce the concept of "replacement cycles." These are the predictable lengths of time that you can expect household products to last before they lose their effectiveness or deteriorate. Between waking up and going to bed, we engage in many routines for our personal hygiene, beauty and fitness, as well as household cooking and cleaning —all with the best of intentions.  However, many items we use carry hidden dangers if we don’t swap them out soon enough.  Here’s a room-by-room guide: Whole-House: Smoke Detector Batteries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends changing your smoke detector batteries twice a year, at the same time you change your clocks.  Of course, in the interim, if your smoke detector chirps at you to let you know the battery is dying, you’ll need to replace it before then.  This is so critical.  The CPSC says two thirds of residential fire deaths take [...]

By |2020-03-19T10:16:26-04:00March 18, 2020|

First Home: Making A Place Your Place

Two kids in our family bought their first homes this month. Whether renting or buying, moving into a new place usually means facing some empty rooms waiting to be filled with furniture, beds, art, rugs, decor—the stuff of life! Yes, it can seem daunting and a bit costly, but what a pleasure a beautiful home can be. It’s immensely satisfying to flip through design magazines, watch HGTV for ideas, browse furniture websites, look at Pinterest and create your own castle. Even if you can’t afford to make it all happen at once, it helps to have a master plan. Most of us are not super talented at designing the home of our dreams. Would you let an amateur paint your house, perform an appendectomy, give you legal advice, fix your car? Probably not. But it’s always surprising to me how many people don’t bring in professional interior design help when it comes to making their house a home. The American Society of Interior Designers offers an online find-a-pro directory. You may think designers are too expensive, but many offer consultation services on a limited-hour basis. I once asked a local designer to come to my home for just a [...]

By |2019-05-14T10:03:23-04:00June 6, 2017|

My Life on a Sofa

Family photo albums tell many stories—what clothes you wore in various decades, the hairstyle mistakes that now make you cringe—but often it’s the furniture that reminds us of the where and when. Going through old pictures recently with my adult daughter, I was struck not only by the wonderful family faces, but also by the backdrop, in particular our sofas over the years. Those sofas bore witness to many changes as my children grew and treasured pets came in and out of our lives. Sofas might be the most loved and abused pieces of furniture in our homes: spilled on by babies, toddlers and careless adults; clawed by cats and gnawed by dogs; flopped on casually by rowdy teenagers. Our couches see our kids through countless sick days and cradle us through life’s highs and lows. The only photo I can find of me pregnant with my first child is on a stylish linen sofa (purchased with the help of an interior designer family friend) in our first house. Not so stylish is the wild floral thing my three girls are sitting on while mugging for the camera. How did I ever think that sofa was beautiful? Maybe I never [...]

By |2019-05-14T10:07:37-04:00May 10, 2017|