Inspired: Zest Up Your Patio with Citrus

Posted by: on March 20th, 2012 | Make A Comment


Illustration: Laura Sullivan

























Need some quick upgrades to get your (sad winter) patio bright and fresh for Spring immortal? We’re inspired by perky citrus hues from the shelves of The Home Depot and around the web. Check out these eight ideas that lend some zing to outdoor spaces:

Top row (from left to right):

The limes and tangerines in these stylized, design-forward MoMa Store cloth coasters add a generous splash of color to your tabletop — and beg for an icy cold drink to be sat on them. 

Stage your patio with a water pitcher spiked with slices of orange or grapefruit. Not only does the treat add wonderful aromatics to your outdoor lounging experience, you get a generous splash of color too.

This STOK Charcoal Tower Grill is compact, portable and sunny, too. The built-in chimney, vents and thermometer allow for precision cooking and the removable ash catcher makes for simple clean up as well. We dig the interchangeable grill accessories you can buy, including a pizza stone, griddle or vegetable tray. (Yes, this means you could cook every meal outside.)

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Designer Diaries: Patio Inspiration

Posted by: on March 20th, 2012 | 3 Comments

Recently, we brought you our first installment of Designer Diaries, where we spoke with Home Depot Director of Trends & Design Sarah Fishburne about her design process. Today, Sarah tells us where she found inspiration for Patio 2012:

Above all, our design team is inspired by color, but you would be surprised where some of that patio inspiration comes from!

Every fall, our team heads to Paris for the Maison&Objet trade show. We gather ideas, follow trends, and make note of new and interesting color combinations.

Arden Nazir Larkspur fabric samples

These fabric samples were used to create the Arden Nazir Larkspur throw pillows, fabric by the yard, and the Arden Nazir Larkspur bench cushion.

Fabrics are also an essential inspiration to our design team – some of our patio collections’ fabrics were inspired by rugs. Or perhaps a fabric inspires a glass mosaic pattern. Our design team is constantly reinterpreting inspiration for new and exciting projects.

Poolside Casablanca Knot Malibu Blue Geometric Pillow

These two fabric samples became the Poolside Casablanca Malibu Blue Geometric Pillow and the Poolside Dawson Stripe Blue Stripe Pillow.

Casablanca Knot & Poolside Dawson Stripe Pillows


The Maison&Objet trade show in Paris is always a huge source of inspiration, as is Paris in general. I find inspiration just walking along the Seine, maybe the color and patina of a copper pipe fitting on a beautiful old building, the color of the Seine River, or the fashion in a window display. All sorts of things will catch my eye, and I’ll use it in some way in our next collection. That’s the funny thing about inspiration, you really never know where it will come from next.


Martha Stewart Dana Point Collection


In the case of the Martha Stewart Dana Point Collection which was available from 2008 to 2010, our design team used a metallic pewter faucet finish as their inspiration – giving vendors the faucet and asking them to match it exactly.


Martha Stewart Dana Point Collection Inspiration


Like I said, you really never know where inspiration will come from — in this case, a simple bath faucet inspired the finish of an entire patio collection!

Thank you, Sarah, for giving us a glimpse into your creative process. 


DIY Jewelry Project: Repurposed Valve Handles

Posted by: on March 19th, 2012 | 4 Comments

Gosh, The Apron Blog just loves all of the clever ideas that come from the blog community. Behold, friends of The Apron Blog, this DIY jewelry project from Stripes + Sequins featuring a valve handle of all things. Truly, Grace, how did you come up with this? We bow down to you in all your out-of-the-box, glam thinking.

Repurposing valve handles to make a statement necklace

Photos via stripes + sequins

For the full tutorial on this DIY jewelry project, visit Grace’s blog Stripes + Sequins!

For a more floral look, check out the DANCO Square Broach Valve Handle at The Home Depot. (We have others, too.)

Thanks for letting us share your fabulous project with our readers, Grace!

[Editor's Note: Repurposed is a series dedicated to showcasing clever, new ways to use products we all know and love.] 

Landscape For Shade And Save Money On Your Energy Bill

Posted by: on March 19th, 2012 | Make A Comment

Image via kretyen


With warmer weather comes endless hours of outdoor fun in the sun. But one thing you may not be looking forward to during the upcoming warm months is an expensive energy bill! But did you know that exercising your green thumb can actually help lower energy costs? According to the US Department of Energy, a home with trees and shrubs strategically planted to provide shade saves up to 15% of its energy bill.

Here are some ways you can landscape for shade.

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First Look: Mechanic in a Bottle

Posted by: on March 18th, 2012 | 5 Comments

In most gasoline-powered engines, water invariably ends up collecting in the gas tank, especially in gasoline with added ethanol. Now if you recall the chemistry experiment from 8th grade science class, you might remember that water and gasoline don’t mix. This causes a big problem for your gas-powered outdoor equipment such as lawn mowers, pressure washers and weed eaters, causing fuel to decay in as little as 90 days.

A new product called Mechanic in a Bottle fixes this problem in your smaller-size gas powered engines by transforming the water into hydrogen and oxygen, resulting in better engine performance.

Watch store associate Bobby Baylis demonstrate Mechanic in a Bottle in this video:

Our First Look series highlights videos our store associates watch to learn about the new products and services available at The Home Depot. We share them here so that Home Depot customers, especially professional builders and serious do-it-yourself enthusiasts, can see what’s new in the aisles at The Home Depot.

Fix a Leak: How to Temporarily Fix a Leaking Pipe

Posted by: on March 17th, 2012 | 2 Comments

What do you do before you call a plumber?

Some plumbing leaks are a nuisance. A dripping faucet might keep you awake at night, and it’s wasting water, but it’s not an emergency. Other leaks, though, from cracked or damaged pipe can be a potential catastrophe and demand immediate attention, even before you call a plumber. Here’s how to temporarily fix a leaking pipe.

The first thing to do is turn off your main water valve, which will be near your water meter. Then open a faucet to relieve the pressure inside the pipes. That will stop water from continuing drip out of the pipe as you fix it.

The easiest way to temporarily fix a leaking pipe is to use plumbing epoxy. It usually comes in a putty form, almost like modeling clay. Pinch off enough of the epoxy to cover the leaky spot on the pipe. You’ll probably have to knead the epoxy a bit first to loosen it up. Then, following the manufacturer’s instructions, mold the epoxy around the leak or the pipe fitting where the water is leaking.

Let the epoxy set for a few minutes to harden. Once that’s happened, turn the water back on and check your repair.

In many cases, you’ll find a little water still making it through the patch you’ve just put in. In that case, turn off the water again and add a little more epoxy to the patch–molding it, and letting it set a few minutes as before.

Using plumbing epoxy in this way is quite effective, but don’t be complacent. You may feel like you’ve solved the problem, and there’s no need for a permanent fix to the leak. The patch should be OK for at least a few days, and it could even stretch into weeks or months. But that will always be a weak spot in your plumbing, and you’re asking for trouble if you expect the epoxy to be effective long term.

Get more detailed instructions on emergency quick fixes for leaking pipes in our Home Depot Project Guides.

Photo (cc) Lisa Clarke


Grill It: How Hot Does a Grill Really Need to Get?

Posted by: on March 17th, 2012 | Make A Comment
grill full of glowing charcoal

Photo: Tomhalvar via Wikimedia Commons



A:  Different types of meats are suited to different heat levels. If you’ll want to sear a steak, you’ll need a grill that can climb up to 650 degrees. Foods like burgers, veggies and fish require temperatures up to 450 degrees to be cooked properly.

Even after buying the right grill, you’ll need to know when it’s hot enough to throw on the food. You can try this old grill trick, as told to Esquire magazine: If you are cooking steaks, burgers or the like, hold your hand about three inches above the grate and start counting “one Mississippi, two Mississippi,” etc. If you get to two or three before you pull away, the grill is hot enough for those items that can take a good sear.

Grilling Tips is for all you grill fanatics out there. Whether you swear by propane, charcoal or gas, our BBQ tips have you covered. If you’re in need of an upgrade – shop Grills at

Fix A Leak: Test Your Toilet For Leaks

Posted by: on March 16th, 2012 | One Comment


Fix A Leak: Silent Toilet Leaks

Unless your toilet is leaking water onto the floor, you may not even realize something could be wrong. Unfortunately, many toilets have what’s called a ‘silent leak,’ or a leak that isn’t detected by a running water sound coming from a toilet not in use. Luckily, there’s an easy way to test your toilet for leaks – just head to the pantry for some food coloring. Food coloring in hand, take the tank lid off.

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Unclogging a Kitchen Sink: Could It be the Garbage Disposal?

Posted by: on March 16th, 2012 | Make A Comment

Could it be the garbage disposal?

Kitchen sink clogged for no reason? Have you tried to unclog your kitchen sink with a plunger, pipe snake or drain solutions? If baking soda, liquid pipe snake or a plunger aren’t working, the culprit may be your garbage disposal.

Home Depot community member Leandrohailey brought such a problem to The Home Depot’s online Forums in his thread, “How do you get kitchen sink to drain without always having to turn on the garbage disposal?“ This community member recently installed a new garbage disposal and now the kitchen sink won’t drain without the garbage disposal being turned on. The dishwasher then overflows into the kitchen sink.

“I don’t feel like standing at the sink anymore and turning on the disposal every time we need to wash dishes,” Leandrohailey writes.

Forums associate HDAnswerman felt Leandrohailey’s pain and chimed in with a few possible solutions to this problem unclogging a kitchen sink.

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Places: The Living Roof

Posted by: on March 15th, 2012 | Make A Comment
Enric Ruiz Villa Bio living roof image

Image of Enric Ruiz Villa Bio living roof via The Coolist


You are probably familiar with container, raised bed and vertical gardening trends made popular over the last few years; and, you’ve likely heard about the growing number of community gardens sprouting up in cities all over as well. But, what about the idea of a living roof?

If this sounds like wild thinking, you’re on the right track. The living roof, also known as a green roof, is basically a rooftop partially or completely covered by native plants, wild flowers and other vegetation. While the idea has been around for centuries, adapted from the use of grass and sod roofs in Scandinavia, living roofs are now topping buildings, homes, garages, sheds and a wide variety of structures as the environmental and aesthetic benefits of green roofs are better understood.

Don’t think you need to have access to a tricked-out, split level roof like the one shown above that we spotted on The Coolist to start create a living roofs. All you really need is soil, seed, sunlight and little water.

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