The latest home design idea from Sweden: small
IKEA’s 2012 home catalog promotes the theme of “small,” with ideas on how to make more out of less space.
What’s the latest home design trend coming out of Sweden? According to the 2012 IKEA catalog, the answer is small.
The company’s latest catalog, which runs an impressive 376 pages, carries the cover line: "A home doesn’t need to be big, just smart." The catalog kicks off with a photo essay explaining how six friends might decide to live together in 430 square feet.
Bunk beds and storage systems and versatile furniture are some the key designs that make small spaces smarter, according to IKEA.
"Small spaces are great spaces," wrote IKEA U.S. president Mike Ward on page 18 of the catalog. "Small spaces use fewer resources; they’re cozy, convenient and cost less to live in."
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Leaf blowers, by the numbers
Leaf blower sales have shown a steady increase in dollar volume over the past three years, increasing to $534.2 million in the 12 months from July 2010 through June 2011, according to consumer research from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group.
A 3.1% decline in the number of units sold was matched in the past 12 months by an increase in average selling price.
The warehouse home centers accounted for close to 60% of those dollars during the past year and showed a 5.3% year-over-year increase in market share. The various other retail channels appear to be locked in a relatively close race for second place.
The motivators of “price” and “trusted brand” rank highest in the leaf blower category, a common finding among all home improvement categories. Price was the leader in determining where a consumer shopped for a leaf blower. But the data show “trusted brand” leads the factors determining which product is purchased.
The data show that the leaf blower category, more than most, holds steady across age and income groups, with relatively even results across these demographic factors. The dip in the 65-plus age group and $150k-plus income group, according to NPD Group, is likely the result of older, wealthier consumers turning to yard service, rather than buying their own blower.
On a regional basis, the South and its year-round yard-work climate make it a prime region for sales, and the region has grown this year. The Midwest is holding the position taken last year, while the Northeast and West regions showed declines.
The above demographics make it difficult to pinpoint a “typical” leaf blower buyer. But, a most likely candidate would be a Southerner between the ages of 18 and 34, who makes either $15K to 30K, or $100K to $150K.
Methodology: NPD data are based on monthly tracking of more than 30 home improvement-related categories and 30,000 opt-in consumers.
*2011 data reflects the period July 2010 through June 2011.
**Key: WHC: warehouse home center; MM: mass merchant; DS: department store; SS: specialty store; HS: hardware store
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Innovation for the great outdoors
The upkeep of a house does not end at the front door, which means there is money to be spent from the inside out. And inventive manufacturers have found a number of ways to capture those dollars — from gardening tools to irrigation systems to products that protect a home’s foundation.
Genova Products GenoFlex
Genova Products has announced the addition of the GenoFlex to its Vinyl Gutter and Downspout line of products. The bendable, flexible and expandable Universal Downspout Extension diverts water away from a home’s foundation, preventing erosion. It extends up to 55 ins. and can connect to a 2-in. by 3-in. or 3-in. by 4-in. downspout, PVC Sewer & Drain, and Corrugated Pipe. Made in the U.S.A., GenoFlex is available in white, tan, green and brown. (genovaproducts.com)
Midwest Gloves Comfort Clogs
Midwest Gloves & Gear has introduced its new Ladies Garden Comfort Clogs. The lightweight, comfortable design is molded in advanced EVA material in the latest fashion colors. Removable insoles provide added comfort, and the durable clogs are easy to clean by rinsing off with a garden hose. (midwestglove.com)
Toro Garden Drip Kits
Toro Blue Stripe Drip Irrigation systems are now available in kits designed for containers, flower beds, vegetable and herb gardens, tomatoes and roses. Drip irrigation delivers water slowly and steadily to the soil. Emitters, which deliver the water, are placed near the plant base so water is delivered directly to the roots. According to experts, drip irrigation is more than 90% efficient — there is less evaporation because the water is delivered precisely where it’s needed. The Drip Kits easily install onto an outdoor faucet or hose end. Each kit offers drip components and tubing suited for the specific plant type or application. (toro.com)
Adams Manufacturing Garden Planter
Adams Manufacturing’s 36-in. Garden Planter adds color to any deck or patio. It is easy on the back and knees and allows the user to create gardens in apartments and other locations where space is at a premium. Constructed of lightweight and durable resin, the planter easily stores when not used. It can hold 150 lbs., and the shelf (which can be used for additional flowers or storage) can withstand 15 lbs. (adamsmfg.com)
I've been trying to update my
I've been trying to update my home and replace my gutters for a year, but I haven't been able to make much progress. Does anyone have a suggestion or tips on how to install new gutters? Is this http://www.gutterhelmet.com/ site helpful enough? Help!