home improvement

Self-Empowerment

The invisible battery-boosters built into these accessories let you off your leash (um, power cord) so you can roam if you want to. –Morgan Gibson

 


 

Powerbag Sling’s compact backpack can juice as many as four devices at once. When the bag isn’t in use and needs to be charged, you plug it in with a power cord. $140, mypowerbag.com

 

 

 

Rach’s newest obsession, Everpurse’s kicked-up clutch, revs your phone while you tackle your busy day. The secret: a magnetic pad that recharges the bag. $189 and up, everpurse.com

 

 

Talk, text and stay powered all at the same time with Mophie’s sleek, rubberized Juice Pack Plus. Once you’ve charged it via USB port, the case keeps your iPhone’s tank full. $100, mophie.com


 

 

 

Photography by Levi Brown

RELATED:

Wide World of Hangover Cures

Smart Kitchen Tools of the Future

10 Ways to Use A Whisk from Duff Goldman

 

Reluctant Renovator: The “Before” Photos

We told you all about our editor-in-chief, Lauren Purcell’s, kitchen renovation. Now, take a peek at the “before” photos of her 61-square-foot kitchen (it’s in Manhattan, people!). She shared Instagram pics of the space and filled us in on some of her most troublesome elements.

Kitchen before

 ”The best part about my kitchen now is that it faces a big window in my living room.”

Recycling and garbage bins

 ”I’d like to hide the recycling and garbage bins, but I don’t want to have to open trash drawers with dirty hands. Do they make doors you open with your feet?”

faucet

“The faucet has sprung a tiny leak. (Hey, you can’t have sufficiently awful “Before” photos without some duct tape.)”

kitchen before 2

“Nice gaps between the counter and appliances, eh? I dread discovering what’s fallen down there!”

microwave

“OK, I have no shame: I’m revealing to the world that I’m using a scrunchie to remind me not to pull the bottom of the microwave handle, which has detached. (The scrunchie is meant to go on a wine bottle, not a ponytail. Does that redeem me at all?)”

oven

“A nonfunctioning oven means two things: lots of sautéing and more storage!”

The Reluctant Renovator

I know a fair amount about kitchens. I edit this magazine. I’ve written a cookbook. I eat. Yet when it comes to renovating a kitchen, I have to admit, I feel completely out of my league. Just for starters: What’s the difference between an architect and a kitchen designer–and which do I need? I find the whole process so intimidating that I put off renovating until the oven finally stopped working altogether. Now that’s urgent. I hear from lots of you who, like me, are beyond busy and have limited budgets. So over the next few months, I’ll share my own experiences as a first-time renovator–missteps, anxiety and all. Follow along as I overhaul my palatial 61-square-foot kitchen. (It’s in Manhattan, people!) I’ll be soliciting your advice, ideas…and sympathy!
–Lauren Purcell, Editor-in-Chief 


But she won’t be doing it alone! Design guru Maxwell Ryan, founder of design website apartmenttherapy.com, will be guiding Lauren through her kitchen renovation.

At first meeting, he laid out his plan for a stress-free makeover. It’s just a matter of dividing the process into steps, so you don’t get overwhelmed,” he said. Here are his first three:

1. Gather ideas from the pros. Walk through your kitchen with at least three contractors, architects or designers. Ask them all the same questions, but also see what they suggest. some will just do what you specify, while others may figure out surprising ways to work with your space.

2. Focus on the floor plan. At first, don’t think about color or details. Just focus on the black-and-white map of where things are placed. Throwing in cosmetic decisions now will only bog you down.

3. Think about your style. Sift through your tear-sheet file or Pinterest board to get a clear vision of what you like. This is when you start to crunch the numbers. You can always swap out appliances, materials and finishes to bring your cost down.

Follow along with Lauren as she shares her progress and everything else, from the appliances to keeping costs down to injecting personality into one of the most important rooms in her home.