The warm sun of spring has returned but there are so many projects in the house that we can’t get out… oh well! I guess we can’t stay inside all the time. But you can still bring the beauty of plants indoors; check out our story in this weeks show.


Indoor Containers

You can enjoy great colorful plants indoors all season long by rotating your container plants in a pot. We stopped by Al’s Garden Center (503-726-1162) to learn from Andrea how to plant a container that can be freshened up with new plant material all through the season to give your indoors a boost of color and texture. She used a ‘snake plant’ to create a ring of ‘interest’ around the pot. Then she had an empty container that can be filled with different plants every few months. She filled the middle with an orchid, a bromeliad and an Easter lily. The options are endless!


Pick a Color

Picking the right color for a room can be a daunting task. The right color can be the key to a successful room design. Amy Troute from ‘design for home’ (503-805-0811) walked Ken through some of the rules for picking colors at the Sherwin Williams (503-222-1200) in the Pearl, and some common mistakes. Mistake #1 in choosing a color is not taking the whole room into consideration during the process. There are a number of elements in a room that go into creating a ‘look’ and you need to look at all of them. That leads into mistake #2, don’t use small paint samples. Small paint chips can never give you the right impression of the final color. Paint a large piece of cardboard to give yourself a good visual of the color and how it will look. Mistake #3, don’t get frustrated and give up. Amy called this the ‘give up and go beige’ syndrome. But even choosing a neutral color like beige still can create a huge number of choices. Instead of getting frustrated at the paint store, you should look a full range of colors and then pick out colors that you are drawn to. This means that you will start out with a group of colors that you already like. One other design tip… look at possibly using more than one color in a room. Paint different colors on different walls to make a statement. If even this seems tough you can always give Amy a call to walk you through it!


Lucky Bamboo

Bringing luck to your home can be as simple as adding a Lucky Bamboo to your indoor plant collection. Lucky Bamboo has been around for decades and even if you don’t believe in the ‘magic’ properties of this plant, you can’t deny the ‘cool’ look of this plant. Lucky Bamboo is not even a bamboo; it is a Dracaena, a member of the lily family. Tradition says that you should keep it in groups of 3, 5 and 6 stems (always avoid 4 stems). Try it in your house and see if it works to bring you some luck!


Easy Tomato Sauce

Creating a good sauce can make all the difference in your recipes. A good sauce can mask a dish or it can bring out a fuller flavor for whatever you are cooking. Chef David Musial joined us to show us how to make a good basic tomato sauce. This sauce can stand on its own or you can use as a base to make a variety of different sauces. This one combines carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, and onions to make a fantastic sauce! You can find the recipe here.


Kitchen Ants

The weather is warming and that means that the flowers are blooming, it also means the appearance of a common pest in the kitchen, the ant. Robin told us about some of the ways to get rid of them -- or at least deter them. First we talked about the commercial products that are available. ‘Grant’s Kills Ants’ is a product that has been around for many years and it is VERY effective. Another commercial product is Terro. This one is a borax based product that is also very effective. There are other more organic solutions to repel them. You can use a white vinegar, pepper, cinnamon, and a bay leaf to mask their trails, and that can also send them away.


Furnace Filters

Did you know that you could be losing a ton of money due to an inefficient furnace? Having a dirty air filter in your furnace restricts the airflow and makes it work harder to get the same amount of heat. You should check your filter once a month and replace it every 3 months to get the most out of your heating and cooling system. For answers to all your heating questions check with Roth Heating and Cooling.


Water Efficient Toilets

One of the appliances that uses the most water in your home is the toilet. But you can help put a dent in your water usage with a new high efficiency toilet from George Morlan Plumbing (503-224-7000). Dave joined us to show us the evolution of the water efficient toilet. If you have an older toilet you could be using up to 5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. The newer toilet can bring that amount down to 1.28 gallons per flush; a big difference in water and money savings. These toilets are designed to use the smaller amount of water and still get the job done. But that isn’t the most efficient model available. Toto Toilets has designed a dual-flush system that uses a smaller amount of water for liquid waste and a larger amount of water for solid waste. This type of toilet is so efficient that it is rated as a ‘Water Sense’ appliance and that can qualify you for a lot of rebates. These new toilets can save your THOUSANDS of gallons over the life of the toilet! Check with your tax advisor and your local water provider to see what types of programs may apply. Finally, we went to see the ‘Cadillac’ of toilets. This ‘ultimate in toilet comfort’ is not actually a toilet, but a seat. This features a cleansing head, a dryer, a heated seat and a ‘soft close’ seat that doesn’t slam. What will they think of next? For answers to all your toilet and plumbing questions, stop by your local George Morlan location.


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This page last modified
February 12, 2011.