OK, so we've got some nice weather in store for us this weekend.  But, that doesn't mean that all of our projects have to be outside.  Remember that summer entertaining will include guests inside the house, as well.  So, now is the perfect time to tackle those home improvement chores, and get the house tidied up for the nice weather.  This week we've got some great tips on updating the look of your bathroom with a simple project you can do yourself.  Then, we'll demonstrate how to make the most out of lighting your rooms and what to do to keep your window treatments looking like new.  Take a few moments to try some of these projects then get ready for the compliments from your summer guests.

A reminder that we can now be seen at our new time on KOIN-6 in Portland, 8:00am, right before our sister show "Garden Time," at 8:30am on KPTV-12.

Lighting Design

For many of us, lighting a room means screwing in a light bulb and flipping a switch.  But for Al Thomas from Globe Lighting (503-639-8816), it is a work of art.  Al took us to a special room to show us how different lighting techniques can change the mood and focus of a room.  For this demonstration, we were in a dining room setup.  First, Al showed us what the room looked like with only the chandelier over the table on, at its brightest.  Then, he reduced the brightness of the chandelier, and used recessed lighting to highlight the table, make it the centerpiece of the room, and create a sense of intimacy.  For larger-group entertaining, Al directed some lights onto the paintings on the wall.  This creates an intimate space that also encourages guests to move about the room.  Plus, it shows off the design and architectural elements of the room.  For more great lighting ideas, go to the Globe Lighting website to find out about their monthly lighting seminars.

Green Supplies

The big trend these days is making things “green” and Dan Lerma from The Container Store (503-620-5700) showed us some of the eco-friendly products you can buy.  Bamboo is very popular right now, because it is sustainable, grows very quickly, and is naturally anti-bacterial.  Dan showed us a variety of bamboo items, including a drawer organizer, a stacking organizer for canned goods, and a kitchen composter.  Many of the items feature plastic parts, which are biodegradable.  We also saw a bulletin board made from recycled paper, several different kinds of garbage containers, and “green” (both literally and figuratively) bathroom soap and toothbrush holders.  Baskets made from recycled newspaper are also available.  A bucket made from recycled plastic bottles featured a microfiber mop which can be laundered, and the handle has interchangeable parts, to use as a broom.

How to Clean Window Coverings

One household chore that often gets overlooked is cleaning our window coverings. Amy Troute of ‘design for home’ (503-805-1959) had some great advice for keeping those window treatments looking clean and new.  For “hard” treatments like shutters or wood blinds, a wash cloth with a mild detergent will work.  However, for cloth or porous materials, she suggests a clean white cloth, again with a mild detergent.  Ongoing maintenance is the best way to keep your blinds and curtains looking fresh and new.  Use the soft attachment on your vacuum to keep dust and dirt from setting on and in the blinds.  For a stain, Amy recommends professional help (for both Ken and the blinds).  Professionals will know how to clean specific spots without damaging your window treatments.


Northwest Cioppino

The Northwest is known for lots of things; beautiful outdoor scenery, clean air and fresh and tasty produce. We stopped by the Stone Cliff Inn (503-631-7900) and met with Chef James Keeney to learn how he uses some great local ingredients (including seafood) to make a cioppino with a Northwest twist. This recipe has a little bit of prep before you fire up the stove. You will want to cut up your vegetables, clean your seafood and organize your ingredients first. Once you have everything ready it will only take about 10 minutes to cook everything. To see how quickly it can go together check out the video. If you don’t want to tackle this recipe (or you want to compare your recipe) feel free to stop at the scenic Stone Cliff Inn. Once you are there, see if you can recognize the scenes at the restaurant that appeared in the recent ‘Twilight’ movie. Even one of their employees appeared in the movie (see if you can guess who the star is!). You can find Stone Cliff Inn along with many other great local restaurants at DOITNW.com.

Peeler Tools

What is the difference between and kitchen tool and a kitchen gadget? To find out we visited with Nancy Chinn a local cooking consultant to learn the difference. She told us that a gadget is something you may use in your kitchen once a year. The tool is something you use everyday. She found some cool kitchen peelers (tools) from Pampered Chef, that she wanted to share. The first was a serrated peeler that tackles the tough skins of apples and carrots with no problem. The serration on the blade really made quick work of the tough skin. Next we got creative with a julienne peeler. This one cuts vegetables like carrots or zucchini into long strands for great garnish and a tasty addition to any dish. Add these ‘tools’ to your kitchen and impress everyone at your next meal.

Replacing a Faucet

Updating the look of your bathroom doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.  Dave Charvet of George Morlan Plumbing (503-224-7000) tells us that simply changing the faucet on your sink can give your bathroom a new, updated look.  The first thing to do is determine what kind of faucet you have and there are three types: one hole, eight-inch center (three holes), and four inch center (three holes).  Be sure to buy your new faucet fixture to match the holes on your sink. 

To change the faucet, you will probably need just basic tools, and possibly a basin wrench, which allows you to unscrew the nuts on the faucet under the sink, when space is tight.  The first, most important step, is know where the shutoff for the water is.  Most likely, it is under your sink.  Once it is turned off, disconnect the supply tube coming from the wall into the faucet.  This would also be a good time to replace the tube with a newer flexible supply tube, if it is old or damaged.  Disconnect the fitting on the pop-up drain.  Then loosen and remove the nuts holding the faucet to the sink.  The faucet should then lift out of the sink. 

Installing the new faucet is the reverse procedure:  Place the new faucet through the holes in the sink; screw the nuts back on to fasten the faucet to the sink.  Reconnect the water supply (using some teflon tape on the threads will make it easier) and reconnect the rod for the pop-up drain.  In about a half hour, and for minimal cost, you have given your sink, and your bathroom, a whole new look.

The "Ferrari" of Toilets

A couple of weeks ago we showed you the “Cadillac” of all toilets.  This week, Ken demonstrated the “Ferrari” of all toilets…so dubbed because of its “convertible” attributes (courtesy of a remote control).




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This page last modified
February 12, 2011.