Fireplaces are one of the most sought-after home features, but using one can be intimidating, and you’ve probably got questions. Here’s a quick guide to get you and your fire started this fall. How do I use a wood-burning fireplace? If a cave man can start a fire, so can you. 1. Prepare the fireplace Clean out any old ashes with a broom (make sure they’re cool, of course). Check that the damper is open and working properly. 2. Gather…

As fall continues and the days become shorter, it’s too tempting to just hibernate until spring. But there is, indeed, joy to be found in the quieter months of the year. Perhaps it’s a bit overdone to talk about the art of hygge, that untranslatable Danish word that references the feeling of being ultra-cozy and content. The thing is, the Danes know how to thrive in winter. You might already know they’re the happiest people on earth, but did you…

What’s Your Cabin Style? What’s the ideal cabin anyway? Take this short quiz to find your perfect space for sipping, snoozing and slipping on your comfiest slippers. Hobbit house You’re so down-to-earth that your ideal cabin is actually in the earth! Your whimsical, cozy taste is perfectly suited for creating a dreamy hillside hideaway. Others might call you a hermit, but you know that home is where the heart is, so why leave?   And hey, it’s not messy –…

Welcome to the Bloomhouse, a place where art and architecture collide. Nestled on 2 1/2 acres of land in the hills of Texas, this home is only about 10 minutes from downtown Austin – but feels a world (or a universe) away. The Bloomhouse’s story began in the 1970s, when University of Texas architecture students Dalton Bloom and Charles Harker obtained a sprawling piece of land and set out to build a home that strayed from conventional design. This sparked…

When Lola Simmons and boyfriend Garrett Moore began looking for an apartment in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, they were hoping to spend around $1,400 on monthly rent. So when the pair found their dream spot for just over $1,000 a month in Seattle’s infamously difficult rental market, they knew they’d struck gold. “I walked in, and after about two minutes, I said, ‘Yep, I’ll take it,'” says Simmons. From there, the process was easy, and the couple experienced little surprise…

Whether you’re the world’s biggest Joanna Gaines fan or you just love clean, simple lines and no-fuss color schemes, it’s pretty clear that the popularity of the farmhouse look won’t be on the decline anytime soon. The Lulamae prefab home by Clayton Homes is a celebration of all things farmhouse style, all housed within a tidy 1,832 square feet. Inside, the home features all of the modern farmhouse hallmarks, including shiplap, a white and bright open concept living area, open…

For many renters, it’s easier to live out of a suitcase than face organization headaches head-on. But according to organization expert Dorothy Breininger, the process starts with debunking the myth that being organized means being neat. “Your stuff can be a jumble,” Breininger says. “Being organized is about finding what you need when you need it.” The key, she says, is to think about how you use a room. Breininger believes that home organization is highly personal and should cater to your lifestyle. For…

The Olympic Mountains. The Strait of Georgia. The shoreline of Victoria, Canada. And maybe a pod of orcas, if you’re lucky. You can see all of that (and much more) from one of this home’s three rooftop decks. Located on the rocky shores of San Juan Island, Washington, this coastal retreat has a unique connection to the land it occupies – the home is built directly into the hillside, so it gracefully descends the ground’s natural slope. A team of…

Mold is everywhere. It grows on the sides of houses, it blackens surfaces like brick and concrete, and it thrives in the soil of your yard and garden. Indoors, mold lives in sink drains, shower grout, houseplant potting mix, kitchen sponges and anywhere else that moisture has a chance to settle. Are you hyperventilating yet? A little bit of mold is nothing to worry about, as long as you can identify the cause and promptly clean it up with a…

Despite their destructive habits and overall “ick” factor, snails and slugs are anything but formidable. In fact, there are so many creative ways to repel or kill them that you might have a hard time choosing just one. Commercial snail and slug killers work, but they’re dangerous and can harm the “good” creatures in your garden. Save money with one of these easy home remedies instead. 1. Give them a bath Every time you go out in the garden, bring a…