BHG Guest Blogger

Everyday Convenience

Written on April 9, 2014 at 9:00 am , by


The BHG Innovation Kitchen, created for the May 2014 issue, is filled with fresh ideas and cool products. Here, senior editor Kit Selzer highlights a few of our favorites.


Picture this: Your son’s uniform needs to be washed in time for today’s game, and you know you’ll be cutting it close. You put it in the washer, set the appropriate cycle, then jump to other tasks around the house. You can check the time left in the cycle on your smartphone, and, when it’s done, you get a message so you can immediately move the load to the dryer. When the clothes are dry, you’re alerted again. His uniform is ready, and you haven’t wasted a minute or a step. It’s enough to make you love laundry day!



Smart kitchen and laundry appliances, which feature automatic functions and computerized control, are all about making life a little easier. That’s at the heart of our Innovation Kitchen, and a set of Internet-connected appliances from Whirlpoolplay a key role. They let you check on and change cycles, adjust settings, and track energy use on your phone or tablet. Monitoring and controlling the washer, dryer, refrigerator, and dishwasher with your fingertips is easy, convenient, and just plain fun.



We took the same approach to convenience with the windows in our kitchen. This awning window from Andersen operates by remote control. What’s really cool: If it starts raining, this window will close automatically. Talk about stress-free!



We love these innovative double-hung windows: They let you know when you’ve left the sash open, or even when the window has been left unlocked. It’s a great feature for security and energy efficiency. Motorized roller shades from Hunter Douglas operate on batteries so they’re easy to add to a window. An app lets you raise all the shades in a room at once or one at a time.


And how about a kitchen faucet that not only takes care of messes, it avoids them? This automatic Kohler faucet saves you from touching it or anything else with messy hands. It’s activated by a sensor under the spout’s arc so it turns on only when you want it too, like when you hold a pot under it or wave your hands. It also has a pull-down spray head for ease in cleaning the sink.


How about a little convenience in your kitchen?


See more of the BHG Innovation Kitchen we created in collaboration with designers Jen Ziemer and Andrea Dixon of Fiddlehead Design Group

Chelsey Andrews

DIY-ify: Update your small laundry space!

Written on March 21, 2013 at 4:39 am , by


1. Subway Tile … Lowes

2. Hyacinth Tray Basket … Walmart

3. Keep Calm Wash On Poster … Poster Pop on Etsy

4. Ekby Aluminum Wall Shelf … Ikea

5. Penny Candy Jar … Amazon

6. Laundry Valet … Amazon

7. DIY Laundry “Wash” Jar and Laundry Detergent … The Paper Mama

8. Metal Housekeepers Box … Amazon UK

9. Wall Decal … Kreative Corner Designs on Etsy

10. Green Towels … Target

11. Water Hyacinth Basket … World Market


We have a small space for our laundry “room” and I’ve been collecting inspiration to make it a happier space. This small space laundry room (pictured below) is one of my favorite idea photos I’ve found so far. It’s definitely inspiring me and I hope it can inspire you.



- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

Jen Jones

Organize This: Small Laundry Nooks

Written on March 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm , by

We just returned home for a short little vacation away, which was amazing!  However, we are a family of five, and that means we created a family of five’s worth of laundry over the few days we were away traveling.   And that my friends, means I will be spending a lot of extra time playing catch-up over the next couple of days, which also means I will be hanging out in our laundry room a lot more than normal.


It’s moments like that in which I am grateful that we have the room we do for emptying suitcases and washing up our apparel, and all of the storage available for things even beyond laundry care.  I have learned that our space is not the norm when it comes to laundry, most homes are not built or designed with entire laundry rooms.  We just happened to get lucky.  Which also got me thinking about smaller laundry nooks.  If done right, a small laundry nook or closet can still have major storage and functionality.  It just may require a little extra creative thinking and space planning, but it absolutely can be done.  And wouldn’t you know it, that laundry “nooks” can also be styled in a way that makes them feel like another room in the home and a place that you will actually feel inspired to do laundry within?  Just take a peek at this incredible setup:

Extremely compact, but oh so functional.  Adding floating shelves above the washer and dryer is such a key step in maximizing the vertical storage space.   By adding a counter over the top of the washer and dryer, there is now a built in folding table.  A few other things I noticed are the hanging valet for drying shirts and the hanging ironing board holder, both compact enough to take up very little space.

Another example is seen here of maximizing the space above the washer and dryer.  Transferring everyday laundry care items from their original packaging to pretty canisters, offers a clean look and reduces visual clutter that can quickly take over in a smaller area.  I spy a retractable clothes line which is perfect for pinning up items to dry, but takes up absolutely no space when not in use.

Here is an other retractable option for hanging and drying clothes.  It saves valuable floor space by hanging on the wall.

I am a huge fan of creating small kits, which are portable and keep necessities corralled together.  I do this all over my home, and in the laundry room is no exception.  Create a spot for ironing essentials, another for cleaning supplies and another for garment repair and maintenance.  A pretty crate or basket keeps it all looking nice and streamlined and holds it all together.

Sleek and slim rolling carts, which can tuck on the side or in-between the washer and dryer, area always a space saving storage win.  As are wall hooks when there is no space for an entire hanging rod setup.

A timeless space saving solution is to go the stacking route.  By having the washer and dryer take up the vertical space, you may be able to add in a wash sink or floor to ceiling shelves and storage, that may not have been possible with the side by side models.

I love that closet doors were replaced with soft linens in this laundry nook.  The curtains save a ton of space that doors would have taken up from sliding side to side or swinging into a hall.

Here the ironing board just flips right out from the wall!  No more dragging the clunky ironing board around, or worrying about how you are going to store it!

My oh so favorite laundry room tip, isn’t necessarily organizing related… I say, “Go bold or go home!”  Laundry can be a mundane daily task, however, how can you not be smiling and happy when you are surrounded by beautiful and bright colors?  Take a moment to draw inspiration from your favorite locations, seasons, artwork or objects, and bring that excitement to the room where most of the chores happen.

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Jen Jones

organize this: laundry land!

Written on October 25, 2012 at 11:00 am , by

Raise your hand if you have a passion for doing laundry.  My guess is that not a lot of hands are going up, and if yours did, I am a bit envious!  Laundry is a daily chore that can grow stale, however, if your process and laundry room are organized, it can be a much more pleasant process.

Laundry rooms come in all shapes and sizes; from large rooms to itty bitty closets and kitchen nooks.  A great way to maximize the space you do have, is by adding a few shelves above the washer and dryer.  This allows you to hang clothing to dry, stack linens, store laundry essentials and maximize vertical space.


It is important to sort down laundry prior to washing, as different linens and clothing types require a range of washing methods.  There are many great options that make it simple to divide darks from lights, such as rolling sorters or space saving slide out baskets.


Another great space saving laundry storage option is to add pedestal drawers to your washer and dryer, or slim laundry storage in-between them.


To protect your washer, your clothing and the items in your pockets, create a drop zone for all of those little things we carry around with us all day.  Not only will the jar or dish remind you to empty your pockets, it will also ensure the belongings are easy to return to their original homes and keep laundry room clutter at bay.


Treating stains should happen almost as quickly as the accident itself.  Keeping a Stain Solution chart posted in the laundry room will provide a quick reference the instant it is needed.


If you prefer to air dry your laundry, there are endless options such as clothing lines, hanging bars and space saving flip out drying racks.


Since ironing frequently takes place after clothing comes out of the dryer, installing a wall mount ironing board holder can provide compact storage for both the ironing board and the iron itself.


When looking for ways to corral the small stuff, think outside the storage box and shop the home for every day objects such as a shower caddy, small dishes and baking canisters.


Decorative boxes with labels are another great way to hide some of the smaller items that are used for laundry care.  Everything from bleach and detergent pens to garment bags and sewing kits, boxes keep it all nice and neat on your laundry room shelves.


Transferring laundry care items into decorative canisters now makes the necessities more pleasing to the eye and creates a pretty environment where chores take place.


Baskets are always a great storage solution in any space, however, in the laundry room, they can also serve as portable caddies for cleaning supplies or to disperse paper products around the home.



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