Upgrade a Basic Bookcase

Put a personal spin on an off-the-shelf bookcase with these easy DIY makeover ideas.

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Stairway Railing Ideas

Stairway railings serve more than a functional purpose -- they give stairs a visual presence and make a staircase a work of art. Find ideas for the perfect railing for your stairway.

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Beach Chic Porch Renovation

A family put a new roof over their heads by turning their back deck into a coastal-inspired covered porch. Learn how they made the big change from their existing porch to their new, cozy family hangout area.

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Give a Plain Mirror a Makeover

Take a plain mirror to the next level with these easy DIY embellishments.

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DIY Outdoor and Garden Projects

Sprucing up your outdoor space doesn't need to be a massive undertaking. Use these inspirational small projects -- including painting rocks to hanging new house numbers -- to instantly improve the look of a garden, patio, deck, or backyard.

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Add Storage Around Stairs

Step up your home's storage capacity by making the most of underused areas below and beside your stairs. Here's a look at 18 homes that beautifully optimized stairwell and staircase spaces.

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Clothing Iron Care

Keep your clothing iron in working order with these helpful tips and maintenance tricks.

Once you have invested in an iron, you can ensure a long life span with these smart tips.

Read the care booklet that comes with your iron to get helpful tips about the model's specific care needs.

Clean the vents according to the care booklet before using a new steam iron. This usually involves filling the water well, plugging in the iron, setting it on the highest temperature (usually linen), and allowing it to sit upright for three minutes to build up steam. Turn off the iron, unplug it, and drain the reservoir, pouring the water down the sink drain. If your iron has a "self-clean" setting, switch to it after unplugging and before draining.

Drain well after each use during regular use of your iron.

Use normal tap water in your steam iron rather than distilled water. If you live in an area with extremely hard water caused by mineral deposits, use bottled spring water or a half-and-half mix of untreated tap water and distilled water. Never use 100 percent distilled water unless the care label on the item to be ironed recommends it.

Avoid using household water softeners in the iron. They might cause the iron to leak or spit.

Test scented linen water first. Commercially available scented linen water is safe, but test it to make sure it doesn't stain.

Keep the water reservoir at least one-quarter full to promote the best use of the steam-iron system.

Clean the surface of a cool iron with a damp cloth to remove starch and other residues. Running the iron over a piece of 100-percent cotton also helps remove residue. Check the manufacturer's directions for specific guidelines.

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