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Link Love: Making a better entrance (for your home), inspiring kitchen layout ideas, and more

By John Kirchner January 30, 2012

5 Ways to Make a Better Entrance
Houzz.com
“The entryway is the first visible part of a home’s interior, so it’s important to keep it neat and stylish. But it also has the inevitable tendency to become a catch-all for everyone’s junk collected throughout the day. The key is to keep both functions in mind when setting up your entry. This is one space guaranteed to be used every day, so treat it as a room and not just an awkward transitional area. These 5 tips should help you create a functional and tidy and welcome to your home.”

Plugwise Eliminates Excess Energy Use
Jetson Green
“California-based kWh Power is tackling phantom energy loss by introducing the Plugwise system in the United States. Developed by Dutch company Plugwise in 2006, this system allows you to monitor, track, and control unnecessary energy use throughout your home or office. The system consists of ‘Circles’ which are plugged into standard wall outlets to measure load on that outlet, and a ‘Stick’ that wirelessly relays data from the circles to your computer, where Plugwise Source, the monitoring and management software, allows you see and control usage. Data can also be uploaded to the web for remote access via laptops and smartphones.”

Small Kitchen Layouts to Inspire Your Remodel
CalFinder Blog
“The kitchen seems a straightforward thing. It’s a place to cook. Entertain. You have a refrigerator, a stove. Often a dishwasher. Food comes in, food gets served. But it’s not as simple as that, of course. Especially if you’re looking at your existing kitchen that your home may have come with, and reconsidering how you can create the exact kitchen you want. Perhaps you’re doing a full kitchen remodel, and have no idea what kind of kitchen will benefit you the most. Well. We are here to serve and help you.”

Thinking about redesigning or just sprucing up an existing space?
Home Renovation Guide
“Unlike the homes in the magazines, most of us will never own a Schonbek crystal chandelier to tower over a twelve-seater dining table. In fact, these days we’re lucky if there’s enough floor space in our homes for a dining room at all! Multi-functional, small scale and affordable is the way many of us live. And as more people move into and vie for premium spaces in the cities, large spaces will continue to be an expensive option. We all want our homes to look good. But money, time and resources often limit what we can accomplish in our homes.”