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Covid-19 Is Laying Waste to Many U.S. Recycling Programs

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities, and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling. Many items designated as reusable, communal, or secondhand have been temporarily barred to minimize person-to-person exposure. This is producing higher volumes of waste. Grocers, whether by state decree or on their own, have brought back single-use plastic bags. Even IKEA has suspended use of its signature yellow reusable in-store bags. Plastic industry lobbyists have also pushed to eliminate plastic bag bans altogether, claiming that reusable bags pose a public health risk. As…


Kitchen of the Week: An Expensive-Looking Remodel for Just $13,000

We often recommend Ikea’s kitchen cabinets as a solid, bang-for-the-buck option for those looking to remodel. And nowadays, there are so many offshoot companies offering cabinet front styles specifically tailored to fit Ikea’s base cabinets that, if being economical is a priority, there’s little reason not to at least start with an Ikea skeleton. (See Ikea Kitchen Upgrade: 11 Custom Cabinet Companies for the Ultimate Kitchen Hack.) Which is what we assumed this expensive-looking kitchen from architects Luke and Joanne McClelland was: a skeleton base by Ikea, upgraded with doors from another company. Turns out the whole thing is a…


How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

Home drains are a prime spot for stagnant water or bacteria to accumulate, especially if the sink or drain sits unused. If you’ve suddenly noticed an abundance of very small, moth-like creatures hanging around your sinks, showers, or bathtub, you may have drain flies. These very common pests can reproduce in just 48 hours, making it easy to find yourself with an infestation in little time. Unlike some other pest infestations, understanding how to get rid of drain flies can be quick and simple. With a little diligence, you can stop them in their tracks with basic products or pantry…


A Few Terms We Aren’t Using Anymore (And Why)

Above: A bedroom—never again a master bedroom. Photograph from Urban Cottage: Designer and “Creativepreneur” Angela Medlin’s Chic Victorian in Portland, OR. “Our country is like a really old house. I love old houses…but old houses need a lot of work, and the work is never done—and that’s what our country is like. You may not want to go into that basement, but if you really don’t go into that basement, it’s at your own peril.” — Isabel Wilkerson Margot recently sent around the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson’s quote from the podcast On Being to the Remodelista team. As we continue to…


10 Easy Pieces: Architect-Designed Sofas

Some of our favorite sofas, not surprisingly, are designed by notable architects. From Le Corbusier to Piero Lissoni, here are 10 sofas as thoughtfully-designed as a full-scale building. Above: Designed by Italian architect Piero Lissoni, the Extra Soft Sofa for Living Divani is a modular design in fabric or leather. It’s on the higher end of the price spectrum, available for £8,752 at TwentyTwentyOne. Above: Designed by French architect Jean-Marie Massaud for Poliform, the Westside Sofa is available in fabric or leather upholstery and in a wide variety of configurations. Contact dePlain for pricing and availability. Above: From architecture firm…


Getting Slab-Edge Insulation Right

Slab-on-grade perimeter insulation, or slab-edge insulation, is one of the most commonly abused construction details. When installed properly, this insulation offers significant improvements in energy efficiency and, perhaps more importantly, occupant comfort. Unfortunately, getting the details of this insulation right can be complicated. Architects and engineers struggle to find easier methods, but far too often the details they come up with are completely ineffective.How not to install slab-edge insulation ​ The installation process for the details above is easy, which is probably why they are used so often. They don’t require protection of the insulation or exotic concrete forms. The…

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