SOME kitchen makeover inspirations
If a kitchen makeover isn't already on your agenda, you'll want to put it there after you leaf through Cottage Kitchens: Looks That Cook, a special publication from Cottage Living magazine ($9.99, on newsstands now). Pick your style, then study the 25 kitchens pictured, read about "what makes it country" (even in the city) and homeowner Q&A. Particularly valuable: Where they splurged, where they saved, and what they'd do differently next time.
Who's going to argue with this piece of host advice? Writing in the September issue of House Beautiful magazine, New York stylemaker Mona Nerenberg counsels: "Leave your linen unpressed. It's more natural and looks effortless and sexy." Well! And she's just talking about the napkins!
A brighter idea
With Gustav churning in the Gulf, take stock of hurricane supplies this weekend. If you're in need of a new flashlight, take a look at the Daylite from Duracell. It uses a lens and a reflector to capture 100 percent of the light produced by its LED bulb, not the typical 70 percent, the manufacturer claims, and eliminates the dark spot found in typical flashlights. It's at mass merchants, drugstores and hardware stores now, in two sizes, for $25 and $35.
Doorway to order
Organizing tip from Martha Stewart: Hang a dry-erase board near the front door so you can jot notes to yourself and eliminate stray pieces of paper. A "hot box," a mesh bin available at office supply stores, is screwed into the wall below the board where you can deposit odds and ends you need to grab on your way out the door.
Ty's ideas for you
You've watched Ty Pennington remake rooms on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Now borrow those design ideas to redo your own rooms. In Good Design Can Change Your Life: Beautiful Rooms, Inspiring Stories (Simon and Schuster, $25), he offers low-cost, high-style ideas for small spaces. You'll revisit rooms he designed on the show and meet the occupants.
Compiled by Times Homes and Garden editor Judy Stark