• Reese Witherspoon's Home Becomes a Design Inspiration

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    By Erika Riggs

    Where do you find ideas for your home? For one couple, inspiration came from A-lister Reese Witherspoon’s living room in her former home in Ojai, California.

    Celeb interior designer Kathryn Ireland decorated the actress’ ranch, which was featured in magazine spreads in “House Beautiful” and “Elle Decor.” Orlando Soria, an interior designer and West Coast creative director for Homepolish, wanted to give the clients the same feeling of Witherspoon’s Spanish Revival-style home, but in a way that would work for their two small children.

    “I wanted the space to feel sophisticated and grand while being approachable and cozy,” Soria explained.

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  • What's In Your Self-Storage?

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    BoxbeeIf you think that self-storage is mainly for those living in small apartments or cramped cities, guess again.

    Currently 10.85 million American households rent a self-storage unit, according to the Self Storage Association, a non-for-profit lobbying entity that represents the self-storage industry. Rachel Kessler is one such renter. Her New York City apartment was feeling a bit cramped with all of her stuff, she tells AOL Real Estate. “I was going to move to a larger apartment because I like a clutter-free house, but the timing to move was off.” So instead, the PR professional rented a storage unit this past July.

    “Problem solved. My closets can breathe, nothing is stored under the bed, and the cabinets are not overflowing with stuff,” she says.

    Even if 1 in 11 families, or 8.96 percent of all American households, up from 6 percent in 1995, are renting storage space, the amount of stuff each household puts into storage has also increased. The

    We are a nation devotedly attached to our stuff.

    demand means there is a growing number of storage facilities …read more  

  • Wacky Ways to Keep Mice Away

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    deer mouse (Peromyscus treui)

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    Tatiana Gettelman/FlickrAs cool and wet weather rolls in, mice invite themselves into your home,

    That patter of little footsteps may be mice. Mice like to stay warm and dry, just like you. So as cool and wet weather rolls in, mice invite themselves into your home, chewing through electrical wires and making nests in your attic insulation. And since the gestation period for mice is about 20 days, once mice get in, they’re birthing machines that will produce an infestation before you can say “cheese!”

    The best way get rid of a mouse problem is to prevent one. Keep counters clean of food and crumbs, and throw out old newspapers and boxes of clothes that provide nesting material.

    Also, keep mice from getting into your home in the first place. Seal up holes and cracks around your house, especially where cable lines and plumbing enter. Also, make sure your chimney caps and vent covers are secure.

    But mice, like water, will find a way in, and then you’ve got to get rid of them.

    You can call an exterminator, and spend $300 to $500 …read more