Archive for September, 2010

When I lived in Sacramento, my apartment was on the third floor and I could smell the cigarette smoke wafting up from the residents below. My pal Mark hooked me up with an air hustler. An air hustler sells high-end purifiers and calls you day and night until you agree to buy one. Then he tries to sell you an upgrade model.

But the purifier did the job nicely, and it was worth trading the cigarette nuisance for the hustler nuisance. If your home smells, you may not know it. We all get used to our environment. Last year I lived on a horse ranch and after a fashion, the brown plops on my property began to smell like nature.

You can spend your inheritance on air cleaners, or just a few dollars. Today I use a machine that produces negative ions, said to boost your sense of well-being.  I love a sense of well-being, don’t you?

The Grill Meister Cure


The peeps at Apartment Therapy suggest setting out barbecue briquettes to remove unpleasant smells from a musty apartment. They absorb moisture, too. But don’t buy the quick-light ones or mesquite charcoal or your house will smell like a rib joint in Kansas City.

Send in the Troops

germ light

Catch colds easily? Try this Lennox germicidal lamp, said by the manufacturer to overwhelm nasty bacteria and mold spores, cutting biocontaminants by half in as little as 45 minutes.

The Liberace Treatment


A favorite among dormitory herbivores and millions of home-makers, the scented candle can quickly confuse visitors’ olfactory cells into convincing the brain that they’re on a wind-swept trail in the Himalayas. I once found a candle in a designer shop that smelled like freshly baked bread.

Ionic Column


Did you know that negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain? So says WebMD ion authority Pierce J. Howard, PhD.  If you sit long in front of a positive ion generator (TV or computer monitor), you may want to play for a draw by putting a negative ion generator in the room. Oxygen, good!

The Old Favorite


Kills germs, repels blood-sucking vermin, and makes for an outstanding shrimp stir-fry.

Light Me Up: LEDs Go Mainstream

Like them or not, the Light Emitting Diode (LED) may eventually become the common currency in home lighting.  In an LED unit, a semiconductor converts electricity into 20 lumens per watt (LPW) of light. By contrast, incandescent bulbs fire up 15 LPW.

The newer EnergyStar compact fluorescent bulbs you find in the supermarket kick out up to 60 LPW.  While the new LED lights do a better job of focusing the beam of light where you want it than the other models of lighting, they’re still too pricey for many consumers.

But, you can certainly be creative with them!

Man, It’s Bright


The spacewalker lamp certainly lit up the bloggers at Tree Hugger, who claim that LEDs are “mainstream and commodified” now.

Swimmingly Cool


When you coat LEDs with phosphor, you can make them glow in any number of colors. By adjusting the wavelengths, you alter the colors.

The Age of Aquariums


According to the folks at Cool Gadgets, you can adjust the lighting schedule of the LEDs in this BiOrb Life Aquarium to mimic the cycles of the sun. Get it on sale while it lasts, at $295.00.

Diner Chic


The varieties of fixtures you can power with LEDs is near endless.  This retro set looks straight out of American Graffiti.  Satisfy your growing interest in LEDs at Toolbox. Solid-state LED lighting can convert 80 percent of the electricity used to power it, while conventional bulbs merely convert 10 percent. Waste not, want not.

Forked Lighting


If this Roy Perdana LED creation doesn’t give you a charge, you’re not paying attention.  The reclaimed coffee-wood tree plays host to a string of crystal-shaped LEDs.

You know you gotta have one.

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.