Guest Groups: A Gilded New Year

Each January bursts with the luster of new beginnings and hope the new year will probably likely be more wondrous than any before. If I could translate the dazzle of the new year to house decoration, it’d be magnificently bright, hopelessly glamorous and conducive to continued merriment with loved ones. I have compiled 20 of my beloved gilded pieces for the house, hoping to bring a lasting luster for you and yours in 2013. Cheers! — Erika from Radiant Republic

West Elm

Gold Flatware 5-Piece Place Setting – $29

I have always wanted a set of golden flatware. This gilded set is eye-catching and tasteful.

Zhush LLC

Waylande Gregory Gold and White Lava Salt & Pepper Shakers – $135

I adore these brilliant, art deco salt and pepper shakers — plus they are hand-painted to boot.


Pencil Set, Gold – $12

I would love these gold pens for writing grocery lists and displaying in my desktop pencil cup.


Gift Boutique Fortune Cookie Box – $22

Wishing for good fortune in 2013? This darling fortune cookie box stores miniature keepsakes and stays pretty as a screen. I love to keep my great fortune where I could see it, so mine would sit on my desk.

Jonathan Adler

Mr. & Mrs. Muse Brass Place Card Holders – $98

Hosting a dinner party shortly? These brass card holders are too perfect for location settings — I actually “mustache” one to dinner.

Design Darling

Rectangular Lacquer Tray, Metallic Gold – $20

This metallic gold lacquer tray is a stunning entry table inclusion. I would style it with my favorite candle and put it to use for keeping my keys.

Eno Gold Bricks – $115

At the market for a smart doorstop or paperweight? This golden powder-coated, tongue-in-cheek brick by Arik Levy is a brilliant (no pun meant) conversation piece.

Society Social

Gold Stripe Cocktail Napkins – $18

Everyone can use a little glow at the dinner table, and these golden striped napkins do the trick.

Society Social

The Devlin Bar Cart – $515

My New Year’s resolution is to construct a party-worthy pub cart. The Devlin (in golden, no less) from Society Social would be absolutely the most stunning addition to my home.


Shimmer Peek Trinket Dish, Gold – $25

The peek of gold within these trinket dishes is a stunning contrast to the understated outdoor. I would use them on my nightstand to store rings, but they’d also be cute on a dining table to get a pinch of pepper and salt.


Woven Gold Bath Mat – $68

This woven gold mat could be cute only within an entryway. I might place it in my guest clean room to get a little glow.


Imperial Cheese Knives – $198

This cheese knife set is ideal for wine pairing parties. Add a small chalkboard label with every cheese, and the dining table is done.


Gilded Cash Cow Bank – $98

Saving for a rainy day? This tiny bank brings a new meaning to the word “cash cow.”

Frye Art Museum Store

Gold Cards – $18.75

How about a few gold playing cards for a night in with friends? If you’re not one to play with cards, you can frame a set of four. I would hang them in the hallway.


Glitter Salad Serving Set, Gold – $38

All these salad tongs make me want to eat vegetables. Sparkly and candy, they are a fantastic addition to some gathering — and a perfect hostess gift.


2-Piece Dahlia Candleholder Set – $19.95

This two-piece candleholder set reflects beautiful light. I would group three on stacked books on the coffee table.

Brass Gallery

Lion Head Brass Door Knocker – $66

This lion’s head door knocker is regal and sophisticated with a dash of whimsy. It would really pop against my red door.


Beige/Metallic Gold Zebra Stenciled Hide Rug – $700

This metallic and beige hide rug could be darling in a nursery. My spouse and I have (at least) a few years to go until we’ve got one of those, but I would still love to have this in our bedroom.


Golden Animal Magnets – $12

These gilded animal magnets are too adorable. They would be cute in a house office or on a magnetic strip in the entryway for reminders and notes.

Next: Color Guide: How to Use Gold

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The Way to Use Plastic Wood

Cellulose-based wood fillers create repairing minor scratches, dents or gouges in wood and similar goods easy. They comes in different colours to match different wood species and stains, in addition to white and natural wood. It is possible to sand, drill and machine the goods once they harden. The final surface is suitable for painting and staining, but you should always employ wood stains before using wood fillers to prevent uneven staining.

Apply the plastic gloves to prevent staining your fingers and palms. The best tool for applying wood fillers is your palms, but the goods stick to skin almost as well as they stick to timber.

Stir the wood filler together with the close of the screwdriver if you’re using a canned product. Wood fillers sold in plastic tubes do not require stirring. Stir the filler until you get a viable, doughy texture.

Scoop out enough wood filler to fill the gap, dent or gouge. Fill large gouges in layers rather than one layer. Form the filler to a plug or other form to match the repair region.

Press the wood filler to the correct location. Apply pressure to ensure decent adhesion. Slightly overfill the hole or gouge to allow for some shrinkage. Use the putty knife to get rid of any excess, but make the wood filler slightly higher than the surrounding timber surface.

Permit the wood filler to harden over one or two hours. Sand the filled fix spot smooth with sandpaper or a rotary tool fitted using a sanding attachment.

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How to Use a Torch to Distress Furniture

Distressing furniture involves techniques to make it look older than it actually is by damaging the wood. Some of these techniques are rounding off edges with adhesive, gouging the wood with a knife and applying finish in uneven layers. Lightly scorching the wood with the flame from a butane torch brings out the grain of the wood, highlighting it contrary to the light coloration of the remaining wood. This procedure of distressing furniture creates pieces which are the centerpiece of any room.

Remove the doors in the furniture with a screwdriver and place them apart.

Sand the furniture with an oscillating tool equipped with a hook and loop pad attachment and 220-grit sandpaper. Sand with the grain of this wood. Remove the finish and smooth the piece. Leave the deeper imperfections to include personality.

Light your torch and hold the flame 3 inches away from the wood. Wave the nozzle Throughout the wood following the grain. Scorch the wood without charring it into ash.

Wipe the charred hardwood with a soft, damp rag. Rub the furniture aggressively after the grain of the wood to remove the char leaving just the stained grain. Allow the wood dry overnight.

Pour wood finish onto a dry rag. Rub the rag round every wood surface remembering to follow the grain. Cover the entire piece of furniture with finish. Allow the piece dry completely before continuing.

Apply foam into the furniture with a 3-inch paint brush. Gently stroke the tip of the bristles of this brush throughout the polyurethane to smooth the surface.

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Solutions for Cleaning Ceramic Tile from the Shower

Whether the ceramic tile in your bathroom has a polished or textured surface, when soap scum, hard water residue or mold and mildew build on it, the shower looks dirty and grungy. And most people don’t enjoy cleaning their own bodies at a dirty shower. As you can purchase over-the-counter cleaner for cleaning the tile, you can also make cleaning solutions at home from common household materials. Before using a homemade cleansing option in your shower tiles, then test it on an inconspicuous location.

Washing Soda Cleanser

You are able to eliminate most soap scum and hard water residue using a solution of 1/2 cup packed water softener or washing machine, 2 tbsp rottenstone (a fine powdered stone abrasive used in woodworking) and one cup warm water. Dip a sponge having an abrasive side from the mixture and wash the shower walls. Rinse with cool water. Test the abrasive pad on the tile first to make sure that it does not scratch.

Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide or Tea Tree Oil

Apart from looking gross, mold and mildew when left to develop can make people in your house ill, particularly if they have allergies or other sensitivities. But you are able to keep mold and mildew at bay by stripping down the shower walls after each shower. Add 2 cups water and 2 teaspoons tea tree oil to a spray bottle. Shake the mixture and spray it on the tiles. Do not rinse. Other home made tile-cleaning recipes include 1/2 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide blended with 1 cup water sprayed on the tile, or straight white vinegar sprayed on the mold to kill it. Clean as you regularly will after the hydrogen peroxide mixture or vingear has dried on the tile.

Homemade Soft Scrubs

To make your own homemade soft scrub solution for use on bathroom shower tiles or elsewhere at the house, combine 1/2 cup liquid castile soap, 2 cups baking soda and 5 to 10 drops of an essential oil for fragrance. If you’re planning to store the mixture, store it in a sealed glass jar and add 4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin for a preservative. A second recipe requires 5 cups grated Castile soap, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon eucalyptus oil, 6 cups warm peppermint tea and one teaspoon borax simmered on the stove for 15 minutes on low heat and kept in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle before using.

A Shiny Finish

If you have hard water, soap leaves a film on ceramic tiles. After using one or more of the above cleaning solutions to clean your ceramic tile shower walls, give your tiles a glistening finish. After eliminating the cleanup option, polish the tiles club pop: Pour the club pop into a bucket and then wipe down the walls with it. Do not rinse, as it creates tiles sparkle. It works on matte tiles to give them a gentle sheen.

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The Way to Reduce Infection and Hair in a Bigger Dog Home

The more dogs at the house, the more cleaning has to be done in order to keep the errant hair, dust and dirt to a minimum. While it may not be sensible to keep these four-legged relatives confined to a single area or part of the house, easy regular maintenance, such as regular fur cleaning, reduces the mess otherwise left behind furniture, bedding, floors and everywhere in between.

Grooming Equals Less Brooming

Grooming the puppies often helps cut down on float-away fur that seems to take over the entire house. Brushing every dog for approximately five minutes per day removes loose hair until it falls on its own, resulting in considerably less hair on the ground, on rugs and furniture, or even at the puppies’ beds. Along with your canine friends just could enjoy their sessions beneath the brush. For dog breeds with long, thick coatings, spending a little additional time with all the brush treatment helps detangle the fur.

Grounds for Stress

Sweeping and vacuuming the floors frequently helps keep dog-based dust and hair to a minimum. Carpeting and rugs, particularly plush varieties, trap those materials deep inside their woven fibers. Besides the dust and hair in those fur magnets, the carpets and rugs finally smell like dogs in dire need of a bath. Remove rugs and carpeting from the house for less trapped-in fur and grime, if possible — hard surfaces such as tile and wood floors may show the fur and dirt readily, but they are also much easier to wash. A broom works well for easy fur removal a lot of the time.

Fur-niture, Refreshed

Upholstered furniture also functions as a fur magnet in the house, whether the puppies are allowed to grow up to join their human family to get a little comfort. Vacuum the furniture frequently to keep it clean rather than furry. At a pinch, a rubber swab rubbed over the fabric helps pick up hair, as does a sticky lint roller or piece of packaging tape wrapped sticky-side on your own hand. To lessen the amount of fur and dust on Fido-friendly furniture, then keep a dogs-only blanket in their favorite lounging spot on the couch; this way the fur is confined to a single area. Regularly wash off the blanket, in addition to any other dog bedding in the house. This will also help cut down on odors.

Bathing that the Beauties

Whether the dogs enjoy it or not, bathing cuts down on the amount of dander and odor they emit. This is important if anyone in the house has asthma or pet-triggered allergies, even as dander is an allergen that may trigger these health problems. Bathing keeps a dog relatively dander-free for approximately three days normally, according to, therefore this means regular washings to your fur-laden pals.

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The Way to Create Concrete Fascia Stones

You may make your fascia stones called stone stone or veneer cladding, from precast and concrete molds. The expression of your fascia stones is dependent on the shape of foundation colors, the molds and pigments you utilize. Your very own artistic flair in the way pigments are applied to the molds individualizes your own work. Add other aggregate or Perlite, like stone rock or shale, to the concrete mix.

Protect Your Clothing

Wear an apron, dust mask and goggles to protect yourself and your clothes from your dust of Portland cement and Perlite.

Rub petroleum jelly in your arms from irritating your skin, to prevent dust.

Put on waterproof gloves to protect your hands, or rub on your palms liberally with oil jelly, making certain to get the jelly beneath your fingernails as well.

Educate Your Molds

Lay your mold on a sheet of plywood for easy handling.

Fill a spray bottle with water and mist the mold thoroughly.

Dip a pigment brush into the desired color and apply pigment to one stone mold at one time. Glue the sides of every mold as well as the bottom. Mix colors or apply unique colors to mold, ussing a separate brush for each color. Be certain where they fulfill to get a look, in a mold, to blend colors. Leave areas of the mold with no pigment if you want the cement color to show through.

Mix Your Concrete

Place 5 gallons of water into your concrete mixer. If you’re currently using color additives add foundation color to your water. Follow the instructions together with the color product for the amount. Mix well.

Pour 47 pounds — half a bag, if you’re using luggage — to the mixer of Portland cement.

Add 5 liters of sand to the mixer, and then place half bag, or the 47 pounds, of Portland cement to the mixer.

Turn on the mixer, and allow the sand and cement until it has reached a lean consistency, or to blend for one minute.

Pour 5 gallons of Perlite. Perlite absorbs water, which means that your mix may become stiff. Add water as needed to keep your mix. Add another 5 liters of Perlite to the mix, Following the first Perlite addition is blended into the formula. Continue adding water and Perlite until all 25 pounds of Perlite are added to the mix. The consistency of the end product should be just like a stiff batter, not stiff enough to hold its shape, but not watery.

Fill Your Molds

Dump concrete onto the molds. Distribute the concrete evenly over the mold form, eliminating excess using a trowel.

Shake the mold form for 30 to 45 seconds, by hand, or to get 10 seconds on a table. Because Perlite can split into layers, so weakening your stones it is important not to shake the mold form long, together with excess vibration when you utilize Perlite on your mix.

Roughen the surface of the concrete by running a large hair pick over the stones. This rough surface is the back of the stone, making it adhere during use as fascia.

Heal the Stones

Wrap your mold in plastic and place it aside to cure for 24 hours.

Upwrap the mold form and eliminate fascia stones.

Cover your stones in plastic again. Store them to allow them to harden and heal. Properly cured stones are harder and more durable than stones that aren’t given adequate time to heal.

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How to Manage a Mossy Deck

Although moss gives a beautiful aesthetic to a garden landscape, it isn’t so attractive when it covers the deck. Since moss does not have any roots, it may develop freely on sidewalks, decks and roofing. Moss also rises at a rapid pace, quickly covering a great portion of your deck if it is not eliminated. This is dangerous as it may leave the deck slippery. Eliminating the moss is simply the initial step in dealing with it. You also must take action to maintain the moss from coming back.

Remove any furniture, toys or barbecue equipment in the deck before taking measures to eliminate the moss.

Mix half of a gallon of hot water and half a gallon of sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) at a garden sprayer. Spray straight over the moss on your deck so that the moss is soaked entirely with the option. Wait 30 seconds before continuing.

Dip a brush in a bucket of water and then bathe the moss loose. You will not require much elbow grease, as the moss will appear without much work.

Clean the deck with a power washer. This will eliminate any moss that still stays on the deck, in addition to the bleach option you implemented earlier.

Trim back any branches that are preventing sunlight from reaching your own deck. Moderate to intense shade offers moss with the states it should grow. Adding sunlight makes the deck less vulnerable to the moss.

Sweep your deck often during the autumn months when the leaves begin to fall from the trees. The University of Minnesota Extension recommends removing this kind of organic material in order to decrease the chances of moss returning to your deck.

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What Causes Hardwood Floors to Splinter at the Edges?

Splintering edges in your hardwood floor can lead to serious harm, both to the floor and for your bare feet. Any splitting or splintered areas needs to be repaired immediately to prevent further damage, such as large chipped and peeled areas. Identifying the cause of the splintering can help you prevent it from happening again.

Keep It Dry

Moisture that comes in contact with the hardwood planks, whether at the time of installation or later on, can make the edges to splinter since the wood swells. This moisture can come from a cement slab under the floor, which is why it’s critical to utilize a moisture barrier when installing a hardwood floor. Excess moisture can also come from spills, water leaks and extra humidity in your property. Verify the planks for any signs of water damage, mold or decay.

Four Seasons

Hardwood floors frequently expand and contract as the seasons change. During the summer, the planks swell slightly due to greater humidity and heat. In the winter , they shrink due to cold and lack of moisture. Under normal circumstances, this does not result in splintering, but planks made of inferior excellent wood or that were badly finished may begin splitting at the edges, where they have been cut, since this is the poorest aspect of this board. If the planks are installed too tightly and do not have space to expand and contract, they might also begin to buckle and splinter.

Wear and Tear

Over time, the finish on a hardwood floor can deteriorate. With no protective finish, the wood becomes hypersensitive to moisture and temperature changes, which leads to splintering. The planks may also loosen and shift slightly each time you walk across them, causing them to rub each other. Eventually this will make the edges to fray and splinter.

Big Changes

Humidity levels or temperatures which may not otherwise hurt hardwood floors can cause swelling and splintering when they change suddenly. By way of example, a rapid change between a warm, humid environment to a warm, dry one can create the hardwood to split and splinter at the edges. Gradually increase or decrease temperatures and use a humidifier, or a dehumidifier, as necessary to maintain humidity levels fairly even.

Rough Cut

If a hardwood board isn’t cut correctly, it can splinter at the edges. Make sure that the saw blade is sharp and you also make a clean, straight cut. Because most splintering appears at the point where the blade exits the wood, cut together with the finished face, so that any splintering is in the part of the board that will confront the subfloor.

Fix It

If the splintering is minor, it is possible to fix it by carefully removing any dust or debris and then placing a little dab of wood glue in the splintered area. Press the splintered pieces into position and let the adhesive dry. Fill gaps with wood filler. If the splintering is intense, you might have to replace the board.

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Flowers That Grow on the face of the street

Wildflowers and naturalized flowering plantsthat are plants brought to an area by animals and humans, grow everywhere the conditions are right for them, and sometimes that includes by the side of streets. Which of those plants are suited to your place is dependent upon the site’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zone. At USDA zones 8 through 10, a wide choice of flowering plants that grow along roadways can be acquired. Avoid planting invasive species; for example sweet Alyssum is designated as invasive in some states, such as California.


Many of the flower-producing plants that grow on the side of streets are tall. Queen Anne’s lace (Ammi majus), for example, rises to 4 feet high with feathery leaves and an open growth habit that allows sunlight to hit plants supporting it. This plant’s white flowers are tiny, but they kind flat discs that somewhat resemble lace and are around 4 inches across. Queen Anne’s lace is an annual, meaning it lasts just one growing season. Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are also tall plants found growing beside streets. They’re perennials, returning every year. Growing best in USDA zones 3 through 10, daylilies hit 3 feet high and have lilylike flowers held on long stems above straplike leaves. Each blossom lives for just one day, but each daylily plant produces tens of thousands of flowers. Penstemon (Penstemon) is another tall perennial that sprouts on the side of streets. Suited for USDA zones 3 through 9, it has leaves similar to daylily leaves. Its blossoms are not any longer than 1 inch long and are born on spikes from 1 to 4 feet high.


Lupine (Lupinus perennis) and Borage (Borago officinalis) grow along roads and reach medium height. Lupine, a perennial that grows best in USDA zones 4 through 8, has pink, blue and yellow blooms. The wild variety is most frequently blue. The plant is about 1 foot tall with 3-inch broad leaves cut into lobes. Its blossom stalk is about 15 inches tall. Each of its blossoms resembles a cross between a snapdragon and also a sweet pea. Lupine’s toxicity is believed to be mainly in the alkaloid D-lupaine, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Borage is an annual that’s dark-blue, five-petaled blossoms that are about 1 inch wide. Its leaves, stems and buds are fuzzy. When selected, they leave a brown stain on hands.


Short flowering plants that grow along roadways comprise California poppy (Eschsholzia californica) and African daisies (Osteospermum). California poppy is the state flower of California. This yearly’s tulip-shaped flowers appear in late winter and early spring, which are medium orange and are 1 1/2 inches long. They arrive in sunlight and close on overcast days. The plant’s foliage is finely cut and gray-green. The plant grows to 1 foot tall and also tolerates drought circumstances. African daisies are annuals that have daisy-shaped blossoms in shades of cream, yellow and orange. The plants grow to 1 foot tall.


Do not pick wildflowers or their own seed heads from the side of public streets. They could possibly be safeguarded. On private property, ask permission before selecting them. Obtain seeds from reliable sources that cultivated the flowers for their seeds. When choosing flowering plants that aren’t wild or naturalized in your area, mimic their growing conditions. You may have to supplement rainfall with irregular watering and/or fertilizing.

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Does one Eureka Persimmon Want a Pollinator?

Persimmon trees (Diospyros spp.) Bear fruit which tastes heavenly, so it’s no surprise that its botanical name means “food of the gods” and its own wood was thought to create chairs for the gods. But before this heavenly fruit can form, flowers have to emerge and blossom on branches. Pollination is a complicated matter with persimmon trees. Some persimmons arise from pollinated flowers, along with other fruit emerges from unpollinated blossoms.

“Eureka” Persimmons

Although the American, or typical, persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is a species indigenous to the United States, the OrientalJapanese or Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki), of which “Eureka” is a cultivar, hails from Asia. American varieties are more cold-hardy than Oriental kinds, surviving to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 5. Oriental varieties thrive in USDA zone 7 and warmer, where summers are milder and winters are somewhat more temperate. “Eureka” is an Oriental persimmon cultivar which has drought- and frost-resistance and produces orange-red fruits with superior quality.


American persimmon trees are almost exclusively dioecious, meaning female and male flowers are formed on separate trees. Oriental persimmon trees have different sexual types. Some trees have either male or female flowers, while some may have both types on the exact same tree. Some trees have individual blossoms that contain both female and male parts. To complicate matters further, though flowers must typically be pollinated before they form adult persimmons, a few cultivars, such as “Eureka,” are in a position to place parthenocarpic fruit from unpollinated flowers. The California Rare Fruit Growers site notes that a tree sexual expression may even change from 1 year to the next.


As brokers that transfer pollen to female flower parts, bees are primary pollinators for persimmon trees. Persimmon flowers form in the leaf axils, that’s the point where the petiole, or leaf stalk, joins the stem. Female flowers climb singly and male flowers are generally borne in sets of three. Because persimmon flowers are so small, tiny native bees from the Halictidae family, such as sweat bees, locate easy work of entering blossoms. When plants like “Eureka,” which do not require pollination to set fruit are pollinated, the consequent fruits are larger and seedier.


Although “Eureka” trees are self-fruitful and do not require a different tree to pollinate them, they’ll set more fruit if other trees are planted nearby. They also create more persimmons if pollinators are encouraged to visit. Utilizing synthetic chemical sprays may ruin some bees or entire colonies, depending on the levels and concentrations of chemicals you use. The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service recommends not using pesticides through times when trees are blooming. This gives bees and other pollinators chemical-free landings and visits to persimmon flowers.

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