September 26, 2023


Fandom Homes: Within the Residences The place Fictional Universes Appear to Daily life

From a length, the wallpaper in Jennifer Peiro’s business office might just appear like a moody Artwork Nouveau–inspired print. But step a small closer, and acquainted names commence to appear: Sirius Black, Draco Malfoy, Bellatrix Black, and Lucious Malfoy, to identify a handful of. Now move back again yet again, and the whole photo results in being very clear: It is not a whimsical depiction of branches and vines, but a drawing of a relatives tree—the Black household from the Harry Potter series, to be correct. “The wallpaper is certainly the star,” she says.

Room with dark green wallpaper small halfcircle table

The wallpaper is from MinaLima, the graphic style business that worked on the Harry Potter movies and is dependable for quite a few iconic goods in the display screen variations such as the Hogwarts Coat of Arms and all of the household crests.

Picture: Jennifer Peiro

Peiro, who is from Sweden, is what you’d colloquially get in touch with a Potterhead, or a member of the Harry Potter fandom. “I’m basically just a major nerd,” she suggests. “I discovered a fandom that is superior than the actual globe, and just tried out to cling to it no subject what.” Very last 12 months she put in three months touring all over the British isles visiting distinct Harry Potter points of interest, she’s stayed in distinct Wizarding World–themed hotels, frequented most Potter pop-ups and theme parks, and when not working at her day job as software program engineer, she’s generating Potter material for her 75,000 focused Instagram followers.

Green velvet chair gallery wall

The gallery wall capabilities pics of Harry Potter filming spots that Peiro has visited around the a long time.

Photo: Jennifer Peiro

Room with green galaxy projected on the cieling

A environmentally friendly galaxy is projected on to the display screen when the lights are turned off.

Photograph: Jennifer Peiro

“A ton of people today [in the fandom] have Harry Potter rooms where by they display their merch, so I wanted to make a person also,” she claims. “But I didn’t want it to come to feel like a museum, I required it to be a standard room that essentially serves a purpose.” So, she opted to create a house business since that’s the place she spends quite a few of her waking several hours. “I wanted it to feel like a typical room in Hogwarts,” she points out. The family members tree wallpaper, a model of which was explained in the textbooks and is visible in a several scenes from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, quickly turn into the basis of the room. “I just knew I was heading to establish the complete space all over it,” she adds. After two months of organizing and yet another of execution, the magical house is now entire: Emerald eco-friendly shelves hold countless collectibles, a crisply ironed Slytherin gown graces a wall near her workspace, and pictures arranged like a collection revealed in Hogwarts memorialize some of her fondest Potter adventures. “I just sit in my chair and seem at all the particulars, and I never ever get exhausted of it,” she says. “Everything in this area just would make me tranquil and satisfied, and it’s amazing staying in below.”

HGTV’s Ty Pennington, AARP share home design tips to help older adults have ‘better quality of life’

As families gather for the holidays, it may be an ideal time to talk about how to best care for your loved ones and how to make their home comfortable and safe. 

According to research by AARP, about 75% of those 50 and older want to stay in their current home or community. 

Home renovation expert and celebrity Ty Pennington says simple home improvements may be needed to make the home ready to age gracefully with its older residents.

"Most houses that we buy are not designed to age into, so we have to modify them," Pennington, known for shows including "Rock the Beach" and "Extreme Home Makeover: Home Edition," tells FOX Television stations. "I want to see any kind of project finish the best way it possibly can." 

Pennington first garnered national attention as the carpenter on the home improvement series "Trading Spaces." Later as host of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Pennington helped transform hundreds of homes. 

Talk it through and be open

With more than 35 years of professional experience serving and advocating for older adults, AARP caregiving expert Amy Goyer says it’s first important to start talking with your older family members sooner than later.

"Have the conversation early," Goyer says. "Don’t try to talk in the middle of a crisis or wait until mom fell and broke her hip. Try to talk about it beforehand, because you can make gradual changes and have multiple conversations."


Fixing plasterboard on a ceiling. (Photo by DIY Photolibrary/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)

Pennington and Goyer note it’s important to make sure the right person are part of the conversation and to help loved ones find experts that they feel comfortable with. Plan to do a walk-through and look around now to anticipate future needs.

"Come to the conversation with a few different options of how you want to adjust things," Goyer adds.

Start small

In addition, Pennington and Goyer advise making small changes that can still be impactful at a low cost. 

This could include updating lighting in the house, adding grab bars to different areas, installing smart technology and securing rugs.

Be aware that over time, the family member’s needs and wishes may change. 

Prioritize projects that help them maintain independence

Pennington says homes need to be updated in a way that gives loved ones their independence back. 

"I think all of us want our loved ones to feel like their life isn’t completely over so that they still have a life," Pennington continued. "Time is not always on our side, but I think it’s just about a better quality of life." 

RELATED: Apartment rental prices may finally be falling in US, data shows

It’s important for adults to start asking themself, ‘how hard is it to get into my house?’

Installing ramps and stairlifts, widening the bathroom door, or adding kitchen drawers, handrails, lower shelves, higher toilets and walk-in showers may be the accessibility features required to help them retire at home safely.

Speak honestly and prioritize the budget

The experts say it’s important to have an honest conversation, so they’re comfortable with the project and the money needed.

Amid record-high inflation, Goyer says if money is tight, reach out to local organizations for help or grants. 

Goyer concluded, "Our homes can age gracefully along with us."

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. You can learn more on updating your home at

7 home staging strategies to consider observe of prior to promoting your household, Life style News

House staging can be pretty hard as numerous factors and problems occur. Aspects these kinds of as renovation availability, expense and high quality appear to brain when sellers want to prepare their households for listing and community viewing.

On the other hand, there is a very good selection of resale assets listings that need assistance captivating to residence buyers. This can be owing to photographs showcasing cluttered residences, outdated furnishings, and disagreeable wall colours.

Just before listing their household on house web sites like, most residence sellers still need to have to have an understanding of the significance of providing an desirable image.

Probable consumers will be less most likely to be interested in your property without the need of suitable property staging, and you could have to succumb to a rate negotiation if your home’s initial impressions disappoint. Also, you will contend with many other house sellers in the identical block or neighbourhood hence it pays to ensure that your home stands out from some others.

So listed here are seven ideas to assist house owners spruce up their residences to appeal to likely consumers:

1.  Decluttering and organisation

Decluttering is of utmost value in the residence staging system. In advance of selecting on renovation is effective or even obtaining spanking-new furnishings, property owners ought to obvious out all the undesired merchandise in their houses and organise their stuff.

Clutter tends to make a household look lesser and dirtier than it is. It is feasible for a large open up area to search cramped and unappealing if far too considerably home furnishings, decor, and miscellaneous merchandise are crammed alongside one another. Sustaining your property clutter-absolutely free will enable it look greater and far more roomy. Holding only crucial furniture, eradicating just about anything that impedes website traffic stream, and enhancing your decor just adequate to define each and every room will make your home heat and welcoming.

In addition, like the right total of storage remedies in the home will be beneficial. Prospective buyers will see this as an further gain, as they can keep their possessions proficiently with out cluttering up other essential residing spaces.

2.  Brightening up the residing and eating place

The dwelling and dining place is the cornerstone of any house. When people enter a household, it is most probably that the initial space that they will come across is the living place. As a result, home sellers have to make a very good initially impression on potential potential buyers by showcasing a dwelling home that is equally warm and inviting.

First of all, you would want to brighten the place by providing it a clean coat of paint. Lighter paint colours will mirror natural light, building the space appear larger sized. 

Decide on a light-weight and neutral color palette if you would want to produce a far more expansive environment. Think about colour tones this kind of as beige, white and creams. This portray system boosts the noticeable house, and purchasers will very likely perceive the room to be considerably greater than it is in equally a residence walkthrough environment and on listing webpages.

Next, pick out the form of flooring that immediately contrasts your wall color. For instance, dim floorings this kind of as brown wood or gray vinyl give a perception of depth to the customer, in contrast to lighter wall colors like white or beige. This will aid avert the room from wanting much too plain and vacant and would make the living area far more inviting. This method helps send out a positive concept to customers as they would be a lot more inclined to invite their household and good friends to cling out in these kinds of an desirable place.

Finally, owning a centre piece in your living and eating region can make the place stand out.

Ornaments like a dwelling plant, artefact or designer home furnishings can assist set the dwelling space’s tone. Centre items give character to a place, alongside with wall color and flooring combos, assisting to established a prevalent theme and feel. By this, home sellers can convey to an unwritten tale about their home, supplying buyers a lot more which means to take into consideration living there by picturing on their own in it.

3.  The bed room

The bedroom is a place for people today to unwind and rest. For this reason it is smart to adhere to these methods to enable likely prospective buyers visualise them selves in a comforting setting:


  • Neutral tones: The decor and colour plan of the bed room must be retained gender-neutral, which will charm to the two male and female customers.
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  • Critical furnishings: Staging a space calls for only vital household furniture apart from the mattress, such as side tables, lamps, and dressers. Coordinating your furniture in the place is highly encouraged to make a cohesive glance. Moreover, painting or refacing previous home furnishings can be more cost-effective than shopping for manufacturer-new furnishings if you will need the proper items or are on a constrained spending plan.
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  • Add accent cushions: Extra attractive pillows will immediately greatly enhance the comfort and luxurious of your mattress. Incorporating pops of colour, pattern, and texture can generate a a lot more relaxed ambience while adding some visible interest for possible prospective buyers.
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ALSO Go through: Home staging suggestions: 6 reno-absolutely free methods to 'zhng' your residence and greatly enhance its worth

4.  The research

With the increasing trend of far more persons acquiring to operate from residence owing to Covid-19 actions, it is now customary to have a devoted area in the residence to get the job done or review at.

As a result, it is wise to include things like a analyze corner or household office environment in your staging system to acquire the curiosity of prospective buyers below are some tips to glimpse out for:


  • The appropriate household furniture: To attractiveness to a wider viewers, deciding on gender-neutral-colored desks and chairs is crucial. Opt for desks with earthy tones, this kind of as wood ones, or if you are wanting for a less costly alternate, wood-like textured desks are excellent much too. For the chair, a compact dwelling workplace chair would suffice as prolonged as all the colors of the desk and chair enhance each individual other.
  • &#13

  • The suitable placement: It is finest to put your research space upcoming to a window or a corner with lots of purely natural gentle. Reports have revealed that possessing purely natural light-weight while performing or learning allows to strengthen a person’s wellness, joy, and productivity levels. This type of placement will draw the interest of opportunity purchasers as they visualize by themselves doing work there efficiently and in a productive fashion.
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  • The suitable decor: Accent parts like stationary, notebooks and mini crops enable consumers to visualise by themselves in the place.
  • &#13

5.  Versatile spaces

A flexible space or space is a reward, as it can allow for probable potential buyers to reimagine and create a room that will far better match their needs. These areas can be reconfigured into several varieties, these kinds of as a child’s play space, examine corner or even a stroll-in wardrobe. Highlighting the abilities of versatile areas to buyers will assist enhance your home’s value proposition.

6.  The kitchen

Moving on to the kitchen, exactly where coffee is brewed, meals are cooked, and culinary creativeness will take flight. There is a expressing that the kitchen area is the heart of the residence, so below are a couple of measures to adhere to when staging your kitchen area:


  • Muddle-cost-free countertops: Just like the other spots of the property, the kitchen area tops ought to be saved clear and mess-absolutely free to drive buyers’ awareness to the kitchen area elements that make a difference.
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  • The suitable accent color: Be certain that the colours decided on for your kitchen area partitions, fixtures, and furnishings are distinctive from the other home locations, as there requires to be a harmonious move during the diverse spaces. For case in point, if your household has a neutral colour palette, adhere to earthy tones and hues like whites and mild browns for the kitchen.
  • &#13

  • Decorative pieces: To make the kitchen area feel homely and practical for opportunity customers, incorporating ornaments these kinds of as neatly hung kitchen tools, spices, or a uncomplicated bowl of fruit will assistance give your kitchen area place some character with a very little pop of color.
  • &#13

7.  The bogs

A common mistake property owners make is concentrating only on the key dwelling places. They commit a lot less time on minimal parts these as the bathrooms. Sellers want to realise that purchasers are fascinated in loos and that it can affect their in general notion of your home. So right here are some suggestions to elevate these spaces:


  • Give it a deep clean up: No one likes to use a filthy washroom or toilet therefore it is wise to give the entire place a generous clean to steer clear of prospective buyers questioning the overall cleanliness of the toilets and the house.
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  • Wise organisation: Include storage options these as mirror cabinets, towel racks and cabinets. Prospective buyers would be drawn to properly-organised layouts, giving them a clearer image of how they can shop their toiletries.
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  • Up-to-date fixtures: It is effective for many rest room fixtures, this kind of as taps and showers, to match the theme and color palette of the space. If you are on a price range, cheap however tasteful fixtures can be identified online ensure that each and every aspect complements every single other.
  • &#13

ALSO Study: A 6-action manual to staging your household for sale like a expert

This short article was 1st printed in

HGTV’s Ty Pennington, AARP share home design guidelines to aid more mature older people have ‘better quality of life’

As households collect for the vacations, it may possibly be an perfect time to converse about how to ideal treatment for your liked ones and how to make their home relaxed and safe and sound. 

In accordance to investigate by AARP, about 75% of these 50 and older want to keep in their existing dwelling or neighborhood. 

House renovation professional and celeb Ty Pennington says simple house improvements might be needed to make the property ready to age gracefully with its more mature residents.

"Most residences that we invest in are not created to age into, so we have to modify them," Pennington, recognised for displays like "Rock the Beach" and "Extraordinary Residence Makeover: Household Version," tells FOX Television stations. "I want to see any sort of job complete the finest way it probably can." 

Pennington initially garnered nationwide consideration as the carpenter on the property advancement collection "Investing Areas." Later as host of "Intense Makeover: Property Version," Pennington assisted completely transform hundreds of homes. 

Discuss it by and be open

With additional than 35 yrs of experienced knowledge serving and advocating for older grownups, AARP caregiving pro Amy Goyer says it’s very first critical to commence talking with your older relatives users sooner than later.

"Have the dialogue early," Goyer says. "Really do not attempt to talk in the center of a crisis or wait right until mother fell and broke her hip. Check out to converse about it beforehand, since you can make gradual adjustments and have various discussions."


Fixing plasterboard on a ceiling. (Photograph by Do it yourself Photolibrary/Development Pictures/Avalon/Getty Photos)

Pennington and Goyer notice it is essential to make guaranteed the right human being are element of the conversation and to assist liked kinds discover gurus that they truly feel relaxed with. Program to do a walk-via and search all-around now to anticipate future needs.

"Appear to the discussion with a handful of various possibilities of how you want to alter points," Goyer adds.

Start out compact

In addition, Pennington and Goyer recommend creating modest alterations that can nevertheless be impactful at a very low expense. 

This could include things like updating lights in the house, including get bars to diverse spots, installing wise technological innovation and securing rugs.

Be knowledgeable that about time, the spouse and children member’s requires and wishes may perhaps modify. 

Prioritize tasks that assist them retain independence

Pennington says homes need to have to be current in a way that provides liked ones their independence again. 

"I feel all of us want our cherished ones to really feel like their existence is not absolutely over so that they still have a existence," Pennington continued. "Time is not often on our aspect, but I feel it’s just about a better good quality of life." 

Associated: Apartment rental price ranges could last but not least be slipping in US, knowledge displays

It is significant for older people to start asking themself, ‘how challenging is it to get into my home?’

Putting in ramps and stairlifts, widening the rest room doorway, or including kitchen drawers, handrails, decrease shelves, better bogs and wander-in showers may possibly be the accessibility options required to help them retire at household safely and securely.

Discuss actually and prioritize the budget

The industry experts say it’s important to have an straightforward dialogue, so they are snug with the venture and the dollars desired.

Amid history-substantial inflation, Goyer suggests if revenue is restricted, access out to regional corporations for enable or grants. 

Goyer concluded, "Our properties can age gracefully along with us."

AARP is the nation’s major nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation focused to empowering people 50 and more mature to decide on how they live as they age. You can study additional on updating your household at

The Best Holiday Gifts For The HGTV Fan In Your Life

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

It's nearly December, and if you haven't begun your holiday shopping, it's time to get to it! Maybe you haven't started because you can't decide what to get for that person in your life who absolutely loves all things HGTV. Don't worry — we're here to provide gift ideas that they'll absolutely love. HGTV lovers are much easier to shop for than you may think. Whether they're diehard fans of "Property Brothers" or obsessed with "Flipping Virgins," there's something for everyone.

HGTV has been airing for nearly 30 years (per HGTV), so there are years worth of favorite TV moments for gift inspiration any lover of the home renovation network would go nuts for. Perhaps, a T-shirt inspired by "Good Bones" or a custom-made doormat with their favorite "Flip or Flop" quote? To help get you started, we have compiled a list of the 16 best holiday gifts for the HGTV fan in your life. Happy shopping!

HGTV Magazine subscription

For just $18 a year, give your HGTV lover some home improvement and décor tips to help them create the space of their dreams. It's the gift that keeps on giving! Subscribe now on Amazon.

Chip Gaines' best-selling book

A No. 1 best-selling book by Chip Gaines, the HGTV fan in your life will learn everything they never knew about Chip before he and Joanna took the home improvement world by storm. Find it on Amazon for $12.

Joanna Gaines earrings

Channel your inner Joanna Gaines with these natural wooden hoops. Made with 14-karat gold hooks, they're suitable for sensitive ears, so any "Flip or Flop" lover in your life can enjoy them! They are available for $30 on Magnolia Market.

Scuddles gardening tool set

This $27 set is perfect for any "Backyard Takeover" fan interested in starting a garden of their own. With five different tools, one pair of gloves, a mister, and a tote bag to hold it all together, it has everything they need to transform their backyard into something Jamie Durie would be proud of. Shop now on Amazon.

Stamped spoon

What's a "Love It or List It" marathon without a bowl of ice cream? With this stamped spoon, the ice-cream-loving HGTV fan in your life will get to enjoy their two favorite things. Find it on Etsy for $14.

HGTV novelty socks

There's no better way to remind the rest of your household that it's HGTV time. At just $10 on Etsy, these novelty socks make the perfect stocking stuffer.

Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Another must-have from the Gaines family, "Magnolia Table" offers "Fixer Upper" fans everywhere the opportunity to re-create some of Joanna's favorite family recipes. Get it on Amazon for $17.

Stonebriar galvanized memo board

For the HGTV fan who could use some organization in their life, give them this magnetic memo board from Stonebriar, available for $21 on Amazon. Complete with a wired basket, they'll have somewhere to place their mail or favorite takeout menus.

Throw pillows

As any true fan of the HGTV network would know, throw pillows are an easy and inexpensive way to make over any room. With so many sizes and patterns to choose from, you're sure to find a few that would fit their style. Styles and prices vary at Target.

Demo day hammer

A "Fixer Upper" fan-favorite, the demo day hammer is designed almost similar to the one Chip Gaines uses during renovations. For $44 on Magnolia Market, you can feel like a member of the Gaines family on demolition day.

Keep Calm... It's just Real Estate by Egypt Sherrod

Surprise any "Married to Real Estate" superfan with Egypt Sherrod's guide to buying a home. Now, they'll have all the tips and tricks necessary to navigate the big move. Get it now for just $13 on Amazon.

HGTV & Chill T-shirt

It's like Netflix and chill — but with a twist! Give your favorite HGTV fan the gift of comfort and relaxation this season with their very own HGTV & Chill T-shirt, starting at $16 on Etsy.

Candle-making kit

Priced at $27 on Amazon, this DIY candle-making set is fun for all ages and skill levels. It has everything they'll need to get started, including six different scents they can mix and match to create their own one-of-a-kind candle.

It Takes Two: Our Story by Jonathan and Drew Scott

This is for all the "Property Brothers" fanatics out there. Jonathan and Drew Scott share stories from childhood to now and how they went from 7-year-old business owners to HGTV royalty. Get the hardcover edition for $16 on Amazon.

Drill and tool set

Every home improvement lover needs their own toolkit and power drill. For $64 on Amazon, you can give them a 120-piece kit that includes all the tools they'll need to complete their DIY projects and more.

Paint brush set

Another DIY project necessity: a paint brush set. This particular kit includes five different brushes for all types of paint jobs, from large strokes to little ones. Find it on Amazon for only $10.

Discovery Plus subscription

Spread holiday cheer this season with a subscription to Discovery Plus. For just $4.99 a month, your HGTV fan can watch their favorite home renovation shows all in one place. Someone just became this year's best gift giver.

2 Dividend Shares That Will Shell out You for Daily life

As an income trader, is there nearly anything additional exhilarating than observing passive cash flow movement into your brokerage account? I would argue that there is 1 other thing that is even much better: Viewing increasing passive income flow into your brokerage account with every passing quarter or yr.

But, how to do that? Here are two dividend shares that have each elevated their payouts to shareholders for additional than 10 years straight, generating them Dividend Contenders. And the finest part is that the dividends paid out to shareholders are expected to continue to keep expanding in the a long time to arrive.

U.S. banknotes wrapped around seedlings.

Image supply: Getty Images.

1. Property Depot

Quite a few nonetheless believe that homeownership is a very important aspect of fulfilling the American Dream. And no matter whether you plan on an substantial dwelling renovation or are simply just looking for new appliances, the property improvement retail big Property Depot (High definition -1.00%) has you lined. With about 2,300 merchants through the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, Home Depot is the largest participant in the dwelling enhancement retail sector. As extended as homeownership remains essential in North America, no enterprise is set to reward as considerably as Home Depot.

Analysts believe that the dream of homeownership is right here to keep. This is why quite a few hope that Residence Depot will supply 14.6% annual non-GAAP (adjusted) diluted earnings per share (EPS) progress more than the future 5 decades. 

The stock's dividend payout ratio is set to be 45.9% in 2022. This should really allow for Household Depot to extend its 13-year dividend progress streak with payout hikes as quick as its earnings growth in the many years forward. Very low-teens annual dividend progress is rather enticing, considering that the stock also yields a market-topping 2.5%.

Greatest of all, Home Depot's valuation seems to be to supply a sensible entry issue for investors at the present $298 share price. The stock is buying and selling at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 18, which is reasonably decreased than the shopper discretionary sector average of 22.

2. Broadcom

With semiconductor chips observed in 1000's of day to day products like appliances, smartphones, and desktops, it can be not an overstatement to argue that the modern planet is dependent on semiconductor chips. This is why the industry research company Fortune Organization Insights is forecasting that the market will mature from $483 billion in 2022 to $893.1 billion by 2029. 

With a marketplace capitalization of $239.7 billion, Broadcom (AVGO .30%) is the fourth-major publicly traded semiconductor organization in the planet. Proficiently, this signifies that there are fewer companies that are set to advantage additional than Broadcom from the fast developing demand from customers for semiconductor chips. The firm's impressive market place cap also explains why analysts think that Broadcom will develop 14.7% annual earnings growth by the following five decades.

Given Broadcom's projected dividend payout ratio of 44.4% in 2022, the dividend really should be in a position to mature as quick as earnings moving ahead. This really should indicate plenty of raises about 15% yearly around the subsequent quite a few years, which would establish on the stock's keep track of file of 13 consecutive many years of dividend advancement. Paired with a 2.9% dividend generate, this is an enviable blend of starting off income and upcoming income prospective.

The cherry on best is that Broadcom appears favorably valued for extensive-expression traders. The stock's ahead P/E ratio of 15.4 is reasonably lessen than the information and facts technological know-how sector common of 20. Broadcom's promising development potential clients, sustainable payout ratio, and modest valuation make the stock a risk-free dividend play to create important wealth in the a long time in advance. 

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May design news: self-shaping furniture and the hemp revival | Life and style

Salone del Mobile Milano – the furniture fair where all the big developments in the design world are unveiled – is back next week for the first full production since 2018. A great sign that the normality that’s been discussed so much during the pandemic might finally be a reality. While Salone is the best place to discover new names in design, art and furniture, there are interesting projects this month focused on rediscovery. New uses for hemp and a revolutionary way to use wood also feature in our stories. Old is very much the new new in design.

The future of furniture

Pieces from the Inky Dhow collection by designer Bethan Gray, launched at Salone next week
Pieces from the Inky Dhow collection by designer Bethan Gray, launched at Salone next week Photograph: Bethan Gray

The most important furniture fair in the world is back this year and, with a 60th anniversary to celebrate, Salone del Mobile Milano is bigger and better. This is just a sample of the shows, talks and festival treats this year. Swine Studio has created an exhibition staged in the Triennale di Milano inspired by Citizen Kane. The spectacle – called Forest Tales – is for the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC). The show will feature a mountain of wooden crates as display cases for artworks which, from one particular angle, will look like a forest. Every piece featured will be low- or no-carbon. Fashion house Prada is hosting Prada Frames, a multidisciplinary symposium curated by FormaFantasma on the relationship between the natural environment and design, including talks by anthropologist Anna Tsing, journalist Alice Rawsthorn and author Amitav Ghosh. Flying the flag for British design, Bethan Gray launches the Inky Dhow collection, a range of textiles and ceramics spun from a drawing inspired by the striped sails of the Dhow boats sailing the gulf of Oman. Meanwhile, Tom Dixon celebrates his 20th anniversary with an exhibition of 20 previously unseen designs, some inspired by his signature collections such as Fat and Mirrorball, some from the depths of his never-ending imagination. Welcome back in style, Salone.

The 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile Milano will be held at Fiera Milano Rho from 7-12 June

The hemp makeover

Vollebak’s raw hemp hoodie, one of the new products championing hemp
Vollebak’s raw hemp hoodie, one of the new products championing hemp Photograph: Vollebak

Having shaken off old-fashioned associations with hippies and stoners, the potential of hemp is now being investigated by more and more forward-thinking companies. No mean feat for a plant that was the first to be spun into a useable fibre, which was used by the Egyptians to move rocks when they built the pyramids, and by Christopher Columbus to make sails to travel the New World.

By the 1700s, American farmers were legally required to grow it, such was hemp’s uses and benefits. A combination of lobbying by the petrochemical, pulp-paper and nylon industries, all of whom stood to lose billions if the commercial potential of hemp was realised, combined with drug hysteria over cannabis, caused it to fall from favour in the 20th century, particularly in America. By the mid-1980s the only two hemp products you could buy legally in the US were Hungarian twine and sterilised bird seed.

Today, companies have started to reengage with hemp’s potential. From an environmental perspective, every tonne of hemp produced removes 1.6 tonnes of CO2 from the air.

Futuristic clothing company Vollebak has designed a Raw range, the first two launches from which are a Raw hemp hoodie and Raw hemp sweatpants. “We’ve done as little to them as humanly possible on the journey of turning a plant into a piece of clothing,” says Vollebak CEO and co-founder Steve Tidball. “The colour is off-white because it’s the same colour as the plant’s fibres. With no dyes and no treatments, you’re looking at a new way of creating the colour white by using the inside of the plant itself.”

Other hemp pioneers are looking to make batteries for electric vehicles from the material, and alternatives to petrochemical plastics have been made with the plant’s fibres and resin, which can be used to make everything from car doors to musical instruments. Today, it seems, the world’s oldest fabric is now its newest.

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Making heavy weather

Artangel’s A Thousand Words for Weather will be at Senate House Library for the next year
Artangel’s A Thousand Words for Weather will be at Senate House Library for the next year Photograph: Francesco Russo/(

Do you know the Bengali word for snow or the Urdu for rain? If not, Artangel’s new sound installation may be what you need. The organisation, which specialises in creating exhibitions in unexpected places, presents A Thousand Words for Weather next month at the University of London’s Senate House Library. It’s the first project from an alliance of artists and writers called the World Weather Network, which calls on creatives to report on environmental changes.

At Senate House, a link to live data from the Met Office will let visitors hear the sound of the weather from various locations and, for a year, artists and writers will report on the weather from places as distant as a New Zealand glacier, a rainforest or a temple in Greece. Writer Jessica J Lee and sound artist Claudia Molitor have also created a multilingual dictionary of weather words and definitions. The dictionary includes the 10 most widely spoken languages in London.

“My hope is that visitors will draw connections between climate and culture in ways they may not often consider,” explains Lee, “to ask how their own ways of thinking about the weather may be shared, or might sometimes be untranslatable to other people who speak other languages. And, of course, to simply step back and think about the weather intimately, as something that moves us and connects us bodily and culturally.”

A Thousand Words for Weather opens at Senate House Library on 22 June and will run until spring 2023 to capture all the seasons

The flatpack furniture that makes itself

The HygroShape chaise-longue
The HygroShape self-assembling chaise-longue Photograph: HydroShape

If you hate putting flatpack furniture together, then this new project from a team at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design and Construction is for you. HygroShape furniture basically assembles itself, thanks to the natural properties of the European maple wood used for construction. Their launch products – a lounger and a chaise-longue rocker – arrive flat but once unpacked, the wood starts to dry out and curl into shape, thanks to the team’s meticulous computational design.

The prototypes are currently in development, with company Hylo Tech working on furniture design but also building components that work with the qualities of the wood in a streamlined and efficient way.

“The biggest potential for the self-shaping technology is that we can embed the action of physical shaping directly into the material,” says the very aptly named Dylan Wood, one of the team behind HygroShape and Hylo Tech. “As a result we don’t need noisy machines, tools, labor or complicated instructions to assemble the pieces.

“This might seem cool for furniture, but we are already developing larger scale applications. Think building components such as roofs, columns, or entire houses that shape silently without construction workers or cranes. The larger and more complicated the parts get the more useful our material programming approach becomes.”

The art of mending, creating and caring

Studio Propolis. Repair kit by Studio Propolis. One of the exhibits at upcoming exhibition Eternally Yours
Repair kit by Studio Propolis. One of the exhibits at upcoming exhibition Eternally Yours Photograph: Studio Propolis

A new exhibition at London’s Somerset House shows the importance of mending and caring for our possessions. Covering everything from textiles and ceramics to furniture, Eternally Yours showcases traditional repair and reuse methods, such as the Japanese art of Kintsugi and the African American Gee Bend quilts, alongside contemporary artists focused on craft. Also on view is the Beasley Brother’s Repair Shop, created by designer Carl Clerkin. It’s modelled on traditional east end repair shops which claimed to be able to mend anything. During the course of the exhibition, Beasley Brothers will run workshops and demonstrations of DIY and skills training.

The clothes and homeware brand Toast will also take part in the show, providing workshops and mending consultations by artists such as Celia Pym and Ekta Kaul.

We wanted to support Eternally Yours this summer to shine a spotlight on the challenges facing the fashion industry,” says Toast’s CEO Suzie de Rohan Willner. “As an industry, we need to get to a point where extending the life of the things we own is the norm, as nearly every flaw in the system can be traced back to overproduction and overconsumption. To reduce waste and emissions we all have a part to play by slowing down and valuing the things we own, not just for a season but for years – or even generations – to come.”

Eternally Yours runs at Somerset House from 16 June–25 September

How to be more handy around the house : Life Kit : NPR

Image of four tools that Mercury Stardust, maintenance technician and TikTok creator, says you should have in your toolbox: Adjustable pliers, multi-screwdriver, an allen key, and a utility knife.

Photo Illustration by Becky Harlan/NPR

Image of four tools that Mercury Stardust, maintenance technician and TikTok creator, says you should have in your toolbox: Adjustable pliers, multi-screwdriver, an allen key, and a utility knife.

Photo Illustration by Becky Harlan/NPR

Over the years, I've taken on a lot of home improvement tasks on my own — and that DIY approach has meant I've made some mistakes. I've used the wrong tools, made holes in walls, fallen for false promises made on late night "As Seen on TV!" infomercials.

We've all been there. Home maintenance is intimidating, and it's easy to think, "I'm just not handy." But then I started following Mercury Stardust, known as The Trans Handy Ma'am on TikTok. She's been in home maintenance for 14 years.

Here are her tips on how to do your own basic home maintenance — and when to call in the pros.

Mercury Stardust, also known as the Trans Handy Ma'am, is a TikTok creator with 14 years of experience as a maintenance technician.

Mercury Stardust

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Mercury Stardust

Mercury Stardust, also known as the Trans Handy Ma'am, is a TikTok creator with 14 years of experience as a maintenance technician.

Mercury Stardust

Prepare for a trip to the hardware store

Hardware stores can be overwhelming. But with a little research you can learn how to talk "hardware."

Before you go anywhere, take these steps:

Identify the problem and its location. Ask yourself, "What's going wrong? Where is it going wrong?" Is it a flood or a leaky pipe? Where is it coming from?

Isolate the problem. "Is water coming from a pipe that I can turn off?"

Do some research, if you have time. See how other people made the same repair. Learn what they call the materials and the methods they use to fix the issue. Every situation is different and so is every home, but with some different perspectives you can communicate your needs effectively to the store clerk.

In this scenario your question might sound like:

I have a leak coming from the bathroom sink, I found the shutoff valve and turned off the water. But it seems like an issue in the P-valve area. Where can I find a tool to take the P-valve off?

4 tools that will get you through most home improvement tasks

I know those 80 piece sets are attractive and cheap, but when has attractive and cheap ever been a good thing?

"Do not trust quantity when we're talking about home kits," Mercury says. "You want quality, and you're not going to get that usually in a tool kit. Buying individual tools will be best for you"

Here are four tools everyone should have in their toolkits:

  • Adjustable pliers
  • 10-in-1 multi-bit screwdriver
  • Allen key (also known as a hex key or Allen wrench)
  • Utility knife

These are the basics that can get you through a lot of home improvement tasks, but depending on the projects you tackle, you may need to add other tools. For example, you might want a sledge hammer for demolition. If you're going to do electrical work, you might want insulated tools. The research you do before your trip to the hardware store will help you here.

For your first project, try unclogging your own sink

Now that you have tools, find one project to help you get more comfortable with home maintenance. My favorite: removing a clog from a drain!

Go ahead and skip the chemical drain cleaner. Unless a clog is at the very top of the drain no goo is going to blast a wad of hair, paper, kids' toys through a labyrinth of piping. Go straight to the non-chemical fix: a hand auger or drain snake.

And know your limits. If your drain snake comes back without goo and grossness on it, it's likely that the clog is more than eight feet deep – which means, it's time to call a professional.

You can always ask for help

Speaking of professionals, you can always ask for help, and learn a few things in the process.

If you're a renter, putting in a work order is your best bet. This protects you: it ensures that there's a record that your apartment has been maintained, and that you've asked your building's management to address any issues.

Here are tips to get your work order addressed quickly – and make sure you get your security deposit back:

  • Start with the most pressing concern at the top. Be clear about what is going on, the point of origin, and that you need help NOW.
  • Get everything in writing, even if you talk to someone on the phone. Make sure you send an email detailing your conversation after your phone call, and CC the property manager.
  • Get a receipt after the maintenance work is done. When you move out, you'll want proof that you addressed an issue, even if the maintenance work didn't fix it. Mercury suggests getting a physical receipt, even if your place uses a digital portal: "You want to be able to say when you move out, 'Such and such did this...they were here on this date at this time.'" That proof protects you in case the problem comes back or persists.

If you're really having issues getting something fixed in your apartment, Mercury advises looking for tenant resources in your town or city.

The podcast portion of this story was produced by Audrey Nguyen, with engineering support from James Willetts.

We'd love to hear from you. If you have a good life hack, leave us a voicemail at 202-216-9823 or email us at [email protected]. Your tip could appear in an upcoming episode.

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