Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ooh and Aah Over Granite Countertops.

For years when we've watched House Hunters International, the couple searching for a house ooh and aah over granite countertops. Those days are over says Ben Keough. "EuroCucina 2014, there was a huge variety of granite alternatives on display. From
stainless steel to tempered glass, from ceramic to wood... we’ve seen the future of your kitchen, and it’s not granite."

Now we have:

TEMPERED GLASSThe thick, translucent material is tough and has a pleasant tactility, while still remaining easy to clean. According to company reps, it’s also available in a huge variety of colors.

CERAMICSthe “closest thing you can get to indestructible.” The material is scratch-resistant, easy to clean, and cool but not cold to the touch.

NANOTECH MATERIALSThe most unusual alternative countertop at EuroCucina came from Italian designer Arrital, courtesy of Arpa Industriale. Referred to as a “nanotech matte material,” the Fenix NTM countertop is anti-reflective, anti-fingerprint, self-healing, and soft to the touch without being... well, soft.

WOODSolid wood and wood-finished countertops, often contrasting with or overlaid on a stone or synthetic material. Everything from mahogany and ebony to light pine and bamboo was used, and often paired with matching cabinetry to create a minimalist yet warm look.

STAINLESS STEELplenty of designers at EuroCucina made a virtue out of this particular vice and made stainless countertops look fresh and new again.

TILEAt least one designer at EuroCucina is aiming to bring them back. Minacciolo’s Minà multi-function island employs a beautiful mosaic tile top with subtle hues of red and orange.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

5 Questions to Ask When Organizing Your Kitchen

The kitchen is most likely the most-used and least-loved room in your home. When you're working all day, running around after children, and basically leading a busy life, it's easy to let the kitchen become disorganized and unwelcoming. However, with a little bit of love and elbow grease, you can transform your kitchen back into the heart of your home.

Where Do I Start With Organizing the Kitchen?When faced with the mammoth task of putting your kitchen back into order, it can be overwhelming. Where do you even start? Many recommend first of all going through your cabinets and emptying them, discarding anything that's out of date, broken or never used. You'll instantly have more room and fewer things to organize.

How Do I Make Cooking More Efficient? Now you'll be looking to rearrange what you have left into your existing space. A good tip is store items where you'll need them the most. For example, put cooking utensils in a jar near the stove, and store like items, such as pans, all together in one area for easy access. Less-used items that are kept for holidays can be kept in less-accessible areas, as you won't need them as often.

 Can I Use “Dead” Spaces in My Kitchen? You can and you should. There are myriad ideas online for using every last inch of space in your kitchen, but our favorites involve hanging items wherever you can. Put in hooks on the inside of doors to hold aprons and shopping bags, or underneath your upper cabinets to hold utensils. Empty wall space can be used, too, to hold smaller items such as spices on a spice rack.

 How Do I Make My Cabinet Space Efficient? Once you've emptied your cabinets of all the excess things that clogged them up, it should be easier to keep them organized. A good tip is to use a Lazy Susan in your cabinets, especially for anything that may spill. You can easily access anything you need with them, plus it's easy to clean up messes if they do occur. Also, use see-through storage, such as clear plastic tubs or wire baskets, so you can see everything in there.

Can I Recycle Anything? Of course you can. Nearly everything in your kitchen can be reused to organize something else. Some ideas include using old LEGO bricks for stacking cookie sheets and using empty baking powder containers to store small amounts of things, like salt and flour. Old magazine files can be attached with magnets to your fridge, keeping all your papers tidy. There are endless possibilities for recycling.
    Once you've gone through your kitchen and re-organized it to fit your needs, hopefully it will be much easier to keep it neat, tidy and clutter free. Now your kitchen will be a room fit for living, eating and entertaining. Plus, it will be much easier to find everything. Enjoy your new, stress-free kitchen.

    BIO: James works in construction and blogs in his free time at Homey Improvements. He also enjoys hiking, photography, and buying new gadgets. Follow him on Twitter @DIYfolks.

    Friday, March 20, 2015


    The Artwork Factory – Floor Art Carpet “Art Street”

    "The Artwork Factory is dedicated to making great art accessible to everyone." – The Artwork Factory®

    The Artwork Factory® specializes in making great art accessible to everyone through a variety of art inspired goods. Partnerships with leading international retailers and a wonderful online e-gallery makes their products extremely accessible. Their in-house design team transforms spectacular art into fantastic and affordable consumer products. The Artwork Factory® features the work of emerging contemporary artists including Erik DeAndre, Loui Jover, Sven Pfrommer, Annie Terazzo, Anne Gudrun, Greta Corens, Amalia Tumalian and many others.

    An array of exciting products and services are on offer, including custom hand painted portraits, Art Coffee Tables, Circular Art, Giclee prints, decorative glass artwork and even Floor Art Carpets.

    The Circular Art collection breaks with the paradigm of angular wall art and proves that creativity knows no bounds. You can present the circular artworks individually or combine different images and sizes to make a dynamic decorating statement.

    The Artwork Factory – Circular Art
    The Artwork Factory – Circular Art

    The Artwork Factory’s dedication to innovation is on full view in its brilliant collection of Art Coffee Tables, where great design merges perfectly with functionality. This collection is filled with durable printed wooden tables that bring beautiful art to the forefront of any interior.

    The Artwork Factory – Art Coffee Table “Iris Luciano Pavarotti”
    The Artwork Factory – Art Coffee Table “Iris Luciano Pavarotti”

    Digital Giclee prints are high quality print reproductions of The Artwork Factory’s stunning images. They’re produced using high resolution, large format printers. Poly cotton, matte canvas is printed with ultra-violet pigments, ensuring brilliant colors for years to come. Each Giclee artwork is individually trimmed and hand stretched on massive wooden frames.

    The Artwork Factory – Giclee print “Butterfly Girl”
    The Artwork Factory – Giclee print “Butterfly Girl”

    Deco Glass prints are a modern alternative to traditional paper and canvas wall art. The style and appeal of the glass surface creates an ideal platform for displaying contemporary art. Thanks to the discrete hanging system, Deco Glass artworks appear to effortlessly float on the wall.

    The Artwork Factory – Deco Glass
    The Artwork Factory – Deco Glass

    The Art-for-You collection of impressive oversized wall art uses The Artwork Factory’s patented assembly system, which allows for large printed artwork to be transported and displayed with optimum convenience.

    The Artwork Factory – Art-for-You “Quite Frankly”
    The Artwork Factory – Art-for-You “Quite Frankly”

    With the Floor Art Carpets, decorative possibilities extend beyond the boundaries of wall spaces. The Artwork Factory® collaborated on this collection with skilled craftsmen who transformed their astonishing images into impressive woven artworks.

    The Artwork Factory – Floor Art Carpet “Move on 56”
    The Artwork Factory – Floor Art Carpet “Move on 56”
    The Artwork Factory’s dynamic new website has lots of fantastic interactive selection tools. Visitors can choose from a variety of color, size, style and theme options. Multiple ambient interior settings makes it even easier to visualize the artwork prior to checkout. Free worldwide delivery, with leading transportation partners, ensures that your goods arrive safely and conveniently.

    Sunday, March 08, 2015

    The 16th Annual Tour of Remodeled Homes

     The 16th annual Tour of Remodeled Homes in Portland, Lake Oswego, Wilsonville and Tigard will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15. Tickets, $22 for both days, are available at; 503-684-1880).
    One home on display will be one In Gabriel Park.

    Janet Eastman explains the history and lets us know that "JB Construction and Deb Seeley Designs'  client was 6 years old in 1940 when her parents built this Southwest Portland house in dairy pasture, now known as Gabriel Park.
    Over the years, the house changed along with its surroundings but the family held on to it, recounts Jim Bruce of JB Construction.
    As an adult, the second-generation owner wanted a few upgrades: A master suite with an attached reading room, and to move the laundry out of the basement.
    A wall of windows on one side of the old master bedroom became a well-lighted hallway leading to the new reading room and spacious master suite with a cathedral ceiling, walk-in closets and a bath with a walk-in shower.
    Windows frame views of beautiful gardens and double sliding French doors open to a new deck.
    The main floor laundry has custom cabinetry for front load washer/dryer and a built-in ironing board. The space doubles as a garden potting room with a separate counter and sink bench.
    A den was created by reconfiguring a coat closet and part of the old living room.  With double pocket doors for privacy, it is perfect for viewing sports, says Seeley.

    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    Easy Tips to Decorate Apartments

    by Amelie William 

    Other than noisy neighbors and almost zero outdoor space, you are dealing with relatively tight indoor space when you opt to live in an apartment. Inspite of crammed living spaces, you can create a pleasing space with a few practical tips. 

    1.     Transform With Drapes

    When used in the right way, drapes can transform the size of your room. Even if your windows are small, consider using long drapes to create an illusion of spaciousness. Using extended drapes for smaller windows will only give the window an airy feeling.

    Photo credit:

    2.     Accentuate With Mirrors
    Mirrors work wonders in a small space since mirrors reflect light when placed in a well-lit room. Consider adding glamorous mirrors in your living room and bedroom to make it look airy and spacious.  Mirrors when placed near a room window can reflect an abundance of natural light into your home.

    3.     Invest In Lighting
    Other than the ceiling light fixtures that come with your apartment, consider these extra lightings;

    1.       Lamps to use on side tables, side tables and nightstands.
    2.       Pendant lights on dining tables
    3.       Floor lamps to illuminate the dark corners of your home.
    4.       Plug-in wall sconces for hallways, living rooms and bedrooms.
    5.       Cabinet and under-cabinet lighting to illuminate the dark areas of your kitchen.

    4.     Alter With Rugs
    Runners, area rugs, rectangular rugs, oval rugs and round rugs; divulge a great deal of charisma by adding rugs to your home. Since rugs suit every nook and corner of your home, you would love to check out beautiful hand-woven rugs. When you buy straight from the manufacturer, you are sure to find the best collection of genuine wholesale rugs; to suit your home and taste.

    Photo credit:

    5.    Use Lightweight Furniture
    Colorful garden stools and garden coffee tables are not just for outdoors. Add colour and interest by adding lightweight garden furniture to your apartment. These kinds of furniture are not only trendy, but they are easy to carry and move around the house when compared to massive furniture.
    Photo credit:

    6.     Change What You Can
    What if you did not get a chance to choose the massive articles of your apartment? You can always change minute aspects to make an enormous impact;

    1. Change bathroom fixtures like showerheads, faucets and toilet seats.
    2. Give your kitchen a makeover with a trendy backsplash and by replacing cabinet handles.
    3. Consider changing the look of your bathroom & kitchen tiles by using tile tattoos of your choice.
    4. When you cannot paint your walls, paint inexpensive furniture white or a surprising colour. 
    5. Give your sink a new look by covering clumsy plumbing work with an elegant screen.

    Photo credit:

    7.     Create A Statement Wall
    Adorning walls is a convenient option to decorate your space. An accent wall can serve as a perfect decorative focal point. From removable wall decals and paintings to wallpapers, there are various ways to create a statement wall without harming your rental agreement.

    Photo credit:

    8.     Personalize Your Space
    Rented or leased, your apartment is a place in which you are going to live for quite some time. So why not personalize your space? Personalizing your space could involve adding any detail that belongs to your;
    1.       Framed or bannered, consider setting-up a family pictures gallery on your wall.
    2.       Create layers by adding two or more fabrics on your floor and furniture.
    3.       Flaunt your green thumb by opting for indoor plants.
    4.       Use vertical or floating racks to put-up your collection for a display.
    5.       Show-off your DIY skills by displaying your handicrafts.

    Photo credit:

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    A Talk About the Kitchen Countertop Design

    By Anna Aamone

    The perfect kitchen should look good but it should be also easy to clean and big enough for you to feel comfortable. The countertop is an important element in the design of this room of your home and also essential one, especially when it comes to cooking and cleaning. You need to have enough space to place some of your appliances and different kitchen supplies, as well as designate a certain area which will be big enough for cooking. Keep in mind that the insufficient space will turn the cooking into a tedious task and will also make you feel very uncomfortable in the room. This is the part of your kitchen which you will have to clean every day, so before you choose a certain design for your countertop, make sure that you will be able to wipe it and maintain it always perfectly clean.

    There are a lot of things that could influence your opinion when choosing a particular countertop design. In order to pick just the right model for your kitchen, you have to consider some specific elements and more importantly make sure that the design of your countertop is suitable for your kitchen. When we talk about this specific part of the room in which you will spend a lot of time every day, we have to mention some of the main rules which is good to follow when picking a specific design. Whether you are renovating the old countertop in your kitchen or installing one for the first time, here are some tips you can use: 
    • Look at the counter space as most valuable – Undoubtedly, you will use the countertop in your kitchen more than any other part of the room. Therefore, you have to be sure that it will be big enough for cooking but also not too big, so that it takes up all the space in your kitchen. Even if you like a specific model, you have to be certain that it will fit into the current design of your kitchen. It also has to be made of good material that will be easy to maintain. You can consult with professionals on the matter.
    • Consider different styles – There are a lot of options out there and it will certainly take a lot of time to research each one of them before you pick a certain countertop design. That's why it's better to focus on the most popular styles which will definitely make your kitchen look good. You can try a classic countertop which looks great in any kind of room. An elegant marble style or an eco-friendly model will be certainly good choices. Like we've already mentioned, you have many options but don't forget to make a research first.
    • Focus on the materials – When it comes to the material, you have to be sure that you will pick a solid countertop that you will be able to use for many years. The granite and marble are the absolute favourite materials which most people prefer. If you pick them for your countertop, you can be sure that it will be a good investment. The stainless steel is another great option because it is very easy to clean and it is resistant to the heat. If you like stone but you can't afford a granite countertop, you can pick the engineered quartz model which not only offers a variety of colours but it is also more affordable.
    When you finally choose the perfect countertop style for your kitchen and you install it, you have to remember that regular cleaning and proper maintenance will preserve its good looks far longer, Shiny London Southfields remind. Also, try to keep the space always organised. This way you won't have to lose time looking for the thing you need and you will have more free space when you cook.

    Monday, February 09, 2015

    The Best Interior for You

    by Brian Wilson

                When taking on DIY and home improvement projects, you may expect the labor of constructing and installing your renovations to be the most difficult part of the job. However, any seasoned home improvement guru will most likely tell you that it’s not so much the effort of a project that creates the challenge—fully realizing your vision for a room or space is going to come down almost entirely to critical thinking and creative experimentation. Believe it or not, hammering the nails will be the easy part!

    Perfecting the Look
                    When selecting an interior, you may feel that you’re not entirely sure where to start. Beginners will feel tempted to look over or review a variety of interior models and archetypes and attempt to emulate the one they like the best. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—going off of examples of strong interiors can be a great way to begin forming an idea of how you’d like your own ideal interior to look.
    However, you may discover throughout your renovation process that realizing your own artistic vision holds vastly more potential than attempting to create a second-rate version of someone else’s. The model interior featured in your favorite home décor magazine may look pristine and other-worldly, but it’s important to remember that a real home requires that a fully decorated room also succeed at being lived in.
    How will an all-white living room adorned in antique pillars and glass chairs function when regularly used throughout the week by a household of three or more? The way that your dream room accommodates you should be a higher priority than the way it accommodates a certain aesthetic.

    Accounting for Space
                A fact of life when it comes to interior design is that differently-sized spaces benefit significantly from different choices in theme and approach. A naturally spacious room will most likely enjoy the perks of additional end tables and larger storage furniture, but attempting a couch and coffee table combo in a bedroom may end up causing your space to be too cramped for comfort.
                    It’s important to factor the architecture of a room into your choices of furniture and décor as much as you can. A common beginner’s mistake is to cram as much functioning furniture into a room as possible, but this can create a cluttered feel that makes it more difficult to enjoy a room. Minimalism is your friend when finding the balance between form and function!

    Personal Taste Reigns Supreme
                Arguably the most common of beginner’s mistakes in honing an interior is to do what you believe you are supposed to do. Being in your 40s no more means that you’re supposed to have a preference towards antique-style oak, than being 25 meaning that IKEA shelves are a requirement. If you cave to the expectation of how you think your house should look, it won’t end up looking much like your house at all!
                    From reviewing interior design blogs and magazines, to browsing a hardware store’s selection of furniture sets, you should make it your goal to take note of the things you like, as well as the things you don’t like. Perfecting your interior can only happen if you realize what you truly want.

    Brian Wilson is a contributing writer and media specialist for the North American Moving Blog. He regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle blogs, based around the transitional challenges that come with migrating and traveling long-distance.

    Affordable Ways to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

    By Tim Smith

    Adding curb appeal to your home can be done without spending a fortune. A few simple improvements can make all the difference in the look of your home exterior.

    Exterior Paint

    Developing a tasteful color scheme for your home's exterior is one very impactful way to improve curb appeal. Contrasting trim colors and an inviting palette can really make your home stand out in a neighborhood. If you want the lowest possible cost you can do the work yourself, although this job is preferably done by experienced DIY'ers and professional painters.

    Your driveway can make a negative impact if it is cracked or terribly stained. Thankfully these problems are simple and inexpensive to fix. Crack filler or concrete stain are foolproof to use and can really give an old driveway a more updated look.

    Garage Update

    Once your driveway is nice and neat, take a look at the garage door. Is it the boring or standard issue model? If so, perhaps it's time to update the door. Garage door styles are becoming more unique and custom-looking. There are many options to choose from that can provide a nice finished look to your home. You can even look into some DIY projects for adding high end details to a standard garage door.

    Pop of Color

    One of the easiest, most affordable improvements you can make is a new hue for your front door. Choose something bright and welcoming that will really stand out and draw attention to your home. This is a great way to go bold without making a huge commitment.

    Natural Charm

    Cheerful flowers and plants make visitors feel uplifted as they enter your home. Planting a garden around your home's entrance is a classic way to add curb appeal and is very inexpensive if done yourself. If a full scale garden seems too daunting, a few potted plants or window boxes can have a similar effect, with much less maintenance. In dryer climates consider Xeriscaping.

    Know Your Numbers

    Finally, when choosing curb appeal improvements, it is easy to overlook the mailbox and house numbers. These little details can have a big impact despite their small size. Mailboxes that incorporate the house number are a great option since the numbers are easier to read closer to the street. Make sure that the type of box that you choose reflects the style of your home and you will tie the whole look together for the ultimate in curb appeal.

    For more ideas and inspiration, visit 

    Wednesday, February 04, 2015

    Fabrica La Aurora

    Wandering around the Fabrica La Aurora in San Miguel, Mexico, I came across this architectural firm with some interesting ideas:

    Saturday, January 31, 2015

    2015’s Best Investment for Your Home or Business

    Barn Doors are hot architectural commodities in home and office style this year. It is a style trend that has started from a trickle to now a roar; and it does not look like it is a trend that will be going away any time soon. Barn doors are here to stay. Interesting fact though, most consumers pick a barn door after purchasing their sliding door hardware. Why?

    The Style of Your Home

    It is the sliding door hardware that sets the tone for the style of the door. Don't think just because it is a barn door, that your home has to be county themed. Some doors are actually barn doors that have been repurposed, to facilitate a green style of living. Being a more eco conscience society has made the idea of salvaging barn doors a huge growth point. Other doors are not barn doors at all but large pieces of acrylic. In many situations, the doors are not used as doors but as space divider for a large room. Industrial, metallic hardware is used in lofts, high-end companies and studios to give it a modern, edgy feel. Contrariwise, to make a new addition to a home feel rustic or aged, adding distressed metal finished hardware might just do the trick.


    from flickr 

    A surprising fact is that the cost of the door hardware can actually be the most expensive part of your barn door project. While a barn door can be acquired from a scrap yard or a barn demo, barn door hardware can only be purchased through a dealer. Do a thorough search online of prices and styles to see what product is best for your. Chances are that once you find the hardware that fits your style, you will fall in love with it and won't be able to purchase anything else. Price ranges for hardware can be anywhere from $100 to $1000. Just keep in mind that having a high quality product is very important. It is an investment that is worth it.


    The sliding door hardware that supports your barn door is crucially important, not only for design purposes but for structural support. Although these doors are space savers, due to their sliding motion vs. a swinging out motion, their sizes are big and bigger. They are very heavy, which means the tracks that they run on have to be made out of high quality materials that attach securely to your walls. A great tracks provides you with an easy to open door that glides effortlessly opened and closed. Most individuals who decide to invest their time and money in purchasing a barn door for their home or business, view the door as a piece of artwork that brings value to their domicile. As you would a painting on display in a gallery, you want to ensure the safety and security of your barn door. Choosing a high quality track promotes that security.

    Barn doors are an architectural trend that is only going to grow bigger throughout 2015. If you have been waiting for the perfect time to invest in a barn door project, the time is now. With the market growing and demand on the rise, prices will only be going up, salvaged doors will be harder to find, and the really unique doors will be fewer and farther between. Remember it is an investment into your home or business. It is a talking point, something memorable, and something that will make your space unique. It expresses part of who you are, making your space exceptional.

    Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, wellness and interior design. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. 

    Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    10 Home Decor Tips to Sell Your Home

    Mike offers ten tips to make it easier to sell your house on FabNest.

    If you hired a home stager or an interior designer, what 10 Home Decor Tips to Sell Your Home would they suggest? What can you do to make your home stand out? Before you actually put your home up for sale, go to some open houses in your neighborhood. I suspect, after just a few visits to homes on the market, you’ll have some answers to your question.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    Food & Wine America's Best Doughnuts

    Voodoo Doughnut; Portland, OR

    The brainchild of two local Portlandia types, this cult doughnut shop specializes in wacky flavors and unexpected toppings—from Froot Loops to bubble-gum dust. Its namesake doughnut is a chocolate-frosted yeast variety that's shaped like a voodoo doll, filled with raspberry jam and stabbed with a pretzel stake.

    How to Care for Your Mattress and Foundation

    Your bed is likely the piece of furniture on which you spend the most time during a given week. Even if you only get an average of six hours of sleep per night, that still means you spend more time on your bed than working at a full-time job. Keeping that in mind, it should be clear why it’s so important to take good care of both your mattress and the box spring or bed frame.

    Read on to get some easy-to-follow pointers.

    Go By Instructions Provided by a Retailer or Manufacturer

    You’re about to learn things that will apply to most mattresses and support structures regardless of brand. However, if you’re provided with special instructions when you purchase a mattress, those should take priority, especially if you’ve bought a variety that is made from a certain type of fabric or one that has a specific type of springs or foam inside.

    Lightly Clean Your Bed Frame Every Month

    No matter if your bed’s foundation is made of metal or wood, get into the habit of wiping dust off it every month. Not only should that be helpful if someone sleeping on it is prone to allergies, but dust and other residue can permanently tarnish the foundation if they stay on the surface for too long.

    Simply take a damp cloth and wipe every part of the foundation’s surface you can reach. After you’ve done that, dry it thoroughly. Excess moisture can cause a metal frame to rust, and a wood frame to get warped.

    When you make time and effort to maintain your bed frame, it can hold up well through years of use.

    Turn and Flip Your Mattress

    This tip is easily one that requires at least one other person to help you, but it’s important to rotate and flip your mattress regularly so it’ll wear evenly. We like to rotate from head to toe every 6 months and flip the mattress once a year.

    Freshen Your Mattress

    You should freshen your mattress at least once a year. Even if you wash your sheets regularly your mattress can become a bit stale over time. Mix a cup of baking soda with a few drops of lemon essential oil. Then put it in a sifter to sprinkle on the mattress’ surface. After about an hour, vacuum the baking soda up.

    Cover Your Mattress

    From dust mites to messy mishaps, it’s important to correctly protect your mattress by using a waterproof mattress protector. On top of the mattress cover you can use a comfy pad or topper so it doesn’t feel like you are sleeping on vinyl.

    Avoid Eating and Drinking in Bed

    Breakfast in bed is a nice treat every once in a while, and sometimes it’s necessary for people who are sick or injured, but in general, don’t become too comfortable with the idea of eating or drinking when you’re in bed.

    Liquids are especially dangerous because they can quickly sink down into the fibers and become impossible to remove. Also, if you eat something that has a very strong aroma when you’re in bed, that odor can bind to the fabric and be very bothersome to sleepers with sensitive noses. If you need to spot-clean your mattress, do so with a mild upholstery shampoo, warm water and a sponge, then let the area air dry.

    Don’t forget to air your pillows and wash your pillow covers monthly! Hopefully these sensible and easy care tips will help you rest easier at night knowing you’re being proactive about maintaining your mattress and its framework.

    BIO: James works in construction and blogs in his free time at Homey Improvements. He also enjoys hiking, photography, and buying new gadgets. Follow him on Twitter @DIYfolks.