Sunday, June 29, 2008

The 3 Most Important Items in a Guest Bathroom

You may not view your guest bath from a very important angle - the guest. You probably take your own private space for granted, stocking it for all the daily necessities.

The Handy Imp strongly suggests that guest comforts - whatever those may be - should start with these three essential items:

1. Extra toilet paper that's easy to find. How many times have you visited someone's home - and they forgot to restock the roll? It's a rather common oversight. Sometimes, they just leave a partially used roll out and it goes away in a hurry, doesn't it? That leaves you frantically searching for those treasured squares. As the host, it's your responsibility to leave nothing to chance. Set out an extra roll where it's easy to find. Make it attractive, of course, but just do it.

2. Hand soap and towels. Even in the most formal of homes, people need to wash their hands when they leave the powder room or guest bath. Believe it or not, an earlier trend left the powder room bare of these essentials. Soaps are nice, but messy. Splurge on a nice (elegant) pump decanter and don't be embarrassed to place it in your fancy space.

3. Scented spray. No matter where people are, they create smells. Make them feel more comfortable by scenting the powder room. The only way to reduce embarrassment over bodily functions is to layer your scents. Pair up a potpourri that continuously works by itself with a matching scented spray. That way, if the aroma drifts out into a hallway or common area, it will seem "natural." An extra squirt or two of spray won't alert other guests that something unpleasant needed covering up.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Who Designs those Doggoned Dog Tags?

The familiar sound of a new dog tag chimes throughout many homes. When a pet gets its shot, it's time to check out the new year's tag design. Seriously, though, you have to wonder - who designs these things. Are they up for special wards or what? Over the years, we've seen them oversized (for small dogs) or in some hideously ugly color.

The worst part, however, is the sharp edges. Some designs come with sharp points (like the year of the octagon) while others are simply sharp to feel along all the edges. Imagine how that feels pressed against puppy skin at the throat.

Get your metal file out and make those dog tags safer. Round 'em, burnish 'em - do whatever you have to do. If dog tag designers can't be more responsible, it's up to you!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Crystal Ball for Falling Trees

It's pretty easy to assume a dead tree is going to lose limbs sooner or later. A dangerous situation in any case. But, what about trees that appear to be thriving? For the average non-arborist, there is little beforehand warning that limbs are going to fall or an entire tree will topple.

Here are a few main tips that may mean a tree is in trouble:

-fungus, including mushrooms populating the base of the trunk or surrounding area.
-seeping sap could indicate could mean a sickly structure.
-V-shaped forks are not as strong as U-shapes and always present the potential for breakage.

When in doubt, consult a trained professional - before that next big storm.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

An Artful Way to Hang Art

Hanging art or photos is not one of those things you "get the hang of" after a little practice. We have all gotten the nails in and the picture up, only to discover it needs to move an inch or two right or left for perfect centering. You start all over, knowing that once it's up, those "other" nail holes won't show.

Here's the perfect solution from JBL Innovations. It's call the Wall Marker and you can see how it works here. The concept is great: a small piece of chalk in the shape of an arrow with an adhesive back. Just stick it on the back of the frame where you want the wires to rest. Press against the wall and - presto! - there's a mark to place the nail. No more guessing where the frame will fall once it's hung.