We’re back with another installment of Cheap Thrills! Previously we shared some of Birmingham’s chefs’ favorite kitchen gadgets and local bites, and today, we bring you affordable home hacks from local experts across all industries. From repurposed wallpaper to home fragrances and organizational offerings, these simple tricks will help make life that much easier. Here are our latest Cheap Thrills!
RESTORE & REPURPOSE
When we asked Cyndy Cantley of Cantley and Company for an affordable home hack, we should have predicted she’d send the chicest and most creative way to repurpose old wallpaper. Cyndy loves to recycle fabulous wallpaper remnants for giftware, drawer liners and cabinet backdrops.
Barbara Ashford and Judy Hill, the antique experts at Henhouse Antiques, let us in on an insider trick to restore antique wood. They say, “Restor-A-Finish is easy to apply, restores color and makes such a difference in the finish.”
Easy spot removal
Betsy Bayer, owner of B. Bayer & Co. Monogramming & Gifts, has us looking at Dawn dish soap in an entirely new light. “Most people only think of Dawn for washing dishes, but we have found that it is capable of so much more. It is actually our favorite stain fighter here at B. Bayer & Co.,” says Betsy. “Anytime a customer brings us a well-loved, gently used or brand-new monogrammed item that has an annoying spot, but, that they feel they can’t live without, our first go-to is Dawn and a little water. Nine times out of 10, it does the trick, and the customer ends up with a perfectly clean monogrammed item in the end.”
Of course, we had to reach out to the hardware experts over at Avondale Specialty Hardware. “It’s safe to say the sound of cabinets being slammed shut is an annoyance to anyone. If you don’t have soft-close hinges, self-stick bumpers offer an easy and inexpensive solution,” says Pareasa Rahimi of Avondale Specialty Hardware. “You just attach them to the corners of your cabinets and drawers. And with the bumpers, you won’t have to be super careful about how you shut your cabinets.”
Easy photo hanging
Mary Lauda Corwin, lead designer at Toulmin Cabinetry and Design, offers an unexpectedly practical tool that we can’t believe we’ve been living without. This picture hanging tool is not a gimmick! It makes the often frustrating task of hanging photos on your walls a breeze.
EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE
Jane Huston Crommelin, real estate agent with Ray & Poynor Properties, emphasizes the importance of an organized closet. She tells us, “I do not have anything on the floor of my closet. My clothes have to be hung light colors to dark colors, left to right and top to bottom. All hangers have to face the same direction. Same concept for my shelves. Items are folded light on top and dark colors on the bottom. This concept helps me locate items easily and it makes getting dressed in the morning very quick!” We could definitely use this hack on those rushed mornings!
Lazy Susan turntables
Alex Lupo Sasser, owner of Organize BHAM’s go-to home hack is lazy Susan turntables. If you’re sick of searching for hard-to-access vitamins, spices, medicines, lotions or oils, Alex says, “Give these a spin and you can easily see what you have and grab it quickly!”
Carrie Lusk, Shoal Creek Properties manager, tells us about her favorite useful little tool: a travel-sized steamer. She says, “I love this steamer that is super-handy when traveling, but I keep it out in my laundry room most of the time because it’s quicker than ironing, and it’s also amazing for getting wrinkles out of drapes, pillow covers and bedding.”
Bites on a Board
Anne Rast Yoder, marketing manager at Bromberg’s, loves Maple Leaf at Home’s “Bites on a Board” charcuterie board. “I love the quality of Maple Leaf at Home products, and the great folks at the Busy Corner Cheese at the Pizitz Food Hall will take a board like this and create the most beautiful charcuterie spread for your next get-together. Not only will it look and taste amazing, but it also costs less than you would spend if you tried to put together something like that on your own.” For the quality of these boards, this entertainment hack is an absolute steal.
Scented drawer liners
Jackie Roessler, marketing director at Dorm Decor, suggests these scented drawer liners. “These fresh, crisp scented drawer liners are wonderful for your dorm room or home,” she says. They feature a lively fragrance of citrus notes blended with soothing green tea and lemon that will certainly lift your spirits!
A neutral home fragrance
Another favorite home fragrance comes from Helen Drennen of RealtySouth. She loves this Arugula diffuser for its neutral scent. “It’s simply pleasant upon entering the home, and that makes all the difference,” she says. And you get your money’s worth, as the reeds exude the refreshing scent for several months.
Now go make the daily grind a little easier with these life hacks and cheap tricks!
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