Jill Harness's Blog Posts

The Treehouse In The Lake

Treehouses are usually in trees, but this house in the lake is pretty darned amazing even if the only trees are hidden away in the bridge. The Treehouse Solling of Germany sits about 14 feet above the water's surface, offering a great view of the fish, critters and flowers of the forest. 

Inside, a number of beds and benches make the site cozy, while ample storage makes it a practical place to stay and an impressive skylight makes for incredible stargazing even on chilly nights.

Check out more pics of this great vacation spot over at Homes and Hues: A Treehouse That Springs From A Pond


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18 Great Ways to Save Space In A Small Home

If you live in a small space -whether by choice or neccessity, you know that it's important to make the most of every inch of your space. Sometimes though, it's hard to visualize what you could possibly doo with a small nook on the side of your fridge...

Or the baseboards under your kitchen cabinets...

And sometimes it's hard to find the space for everything you need in your home -like a desk. Over at Homes and Hues though, we have some solutions for making the most out of even the smallest living spaces. 

If you ever feel like you just can't find space for all of your stuff, don't miss our newest feature: 18 Space Saving Ideas Perfect for Any Small Home


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An Outdoor Shower That Hooks Up to An Ordinary Hose

If you have a pool, you need a shower to rinse off the chlorinated water before, but going in the house dripping wet isn't much of an option. That's where the Viteo Shower comes in.

This clever shower hooks into any outdoor hose and then turns on when you step on it. Just set it up outside your pool when you're going to go swimming and step on the platform when you want to wash.

Read more about the shower and how much it costs over at Homes and Hues: The Perfect Pool Accessory:An Outdoor Shower With No Installation Required


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The Most Amazing Geek Mansion Ever

From the outside, this Boca Raton mansion looks a lot like any other multi-million dollar property, but the mansion of ex-CEO of FriendFinder, Marc Bell has a serious geek side that might not appeal to the average buyer, but is just perfect for a nerd lord seeking his kingdom.

The eight bedroom, sixteen bathroom palace features a Star Trek theater, a Star Trek bar, a full size arcade, a Call of Duty gaming room and more. It can be yours for only $35 million.

You can see more of the great geeky goodness over at Homes and Hues: This Chic Star Trek Mansion Could Be Yours


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5 Great Luigi Tattoos

There's been a lot of press lately about Luigi's intimidating death stare featured in the new Mario Kart commercials, but when you think about it, can you really blame Luigi for being a triffle aggravated? After all, he's been stuck playing second fiddle to his shorter, chubbier brother for over thirty years.

After all this time, I think it's time to show Luigi that he's loved too. And here are some superfans with the ink to prove it.

On a side note: as with most tattoo posts, I rarely have the name of both the artist and the person with the tattoo, so if you have any info on these pieces, let me know in the comments.

This piece by Dorian is a fantastic example of why Luigi is so likable -he's never cocky and he's comfortable in his own skin.

At the same time, Luigi's never one to back down from a fight as this tattoo by Shannon Ritchie proves.

Of course, Luigi knows when it's best to run away as well as Heather Maranda, a reader of Mario Mayhem knows all too well.

That bravery comes at a cost too. After all those fights, Damian James knows that Luigi has suffered just as much in the name of the Princess -but he has to settle for Princess Daisy who is never even locked up in the same castle as Peach.

It makes you wonder, if you were this overlooked, wouldn't you also turn to smoking shrooms or some other substance that makes you see ghosts, monsters and man-eating flowers? Thanks John Gorman of Providence Tattoo for illustrating this point so well.

So maybe next time you see the Luigi Death Stare, cut the guy a break -he's had to deal with a lot of crap thanks to his big brother and he never complains. In fact, I think we should all aspire to be a bit more like Luigi.


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Show Us Your Super Ink & Win

We here at Neatorama know that many of you geek readers have geeky ink. That's why we were inspired by Harebrained Design's delightful Battoo tee shirt to launch a new contest based on your superhero tattoos.

Submit your superhero-inspired tattoo to jill@neatorama.com, post it in the comments for this post, or post it on the NeatoShop's Facebook wall -but hurry because all entries will need to be recieved by June 18, midnight PST.

The winner will be voted on by the Neatorama community, but if we get enough entries, we may also have a Neatorama employee favorite as well. Winners will receive two NeatoShop tees of their choosing.


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A Simple Way to Get Those Nasty Cable Boxes, Routers and Wires Out of the Way

Everyone needs a cable modem and router these days, but they aren't exactly the most beautiful things to look at. Fortunately, Sweet  Sanity has a solution that helps you hide the boxes and wires inside some simple, white storage boxes.

The solution is incredibly simple and easy to do with a box cutter. Find out more over at Homes and Hues: Hide Your Wireless Router Out of the Way With Beautiful Storage Boxes


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The Space-Saving Colander Every Kitchen Could Use

Pretty much every kitchen needs a colander, but they aren't exactly the easiest thing to store in your kitchen. With the RMDLO strainer though, you can strain and steam at your leisure and then just fold the whole thing up into something about the size of a ruler. As an added advantage, the design can even be pushed together on the sides so you can empty the strainer into a small container without any trouble. The piece will also work as a steamer by simply placing it on top of a bowl of water.

You can learn more about the clever design at Homes and Hues: A Colander That Won't Take Up Your Whole Cabinet


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28 Ways to Stay Cool With or Without An Air Conditioner

I don't know about the weather in your neck of the woods, but down here in Southern California, it's already shaping up to be a really warm summer. That's why I was so happy to put together our newest Homes and Hues feature: 28 Ways to Stay Cool This Summer.

While you'll have to head over to the site to get the full list, here are a few tips I find particularly useful:

  • Don’t cook indoors. Summer is the perfect time for grilling and it’s a great way to keep heat out of your house. If grilling isn’t an option, try using your microwave or set up your Crockpot or other electric appliances in your garage or somewhere else where they don’t heat up the house.
  • Take advantage of the basement. You might reserve this underground area for storage, but it’s generally a good 10-15 degrees cooler than the rest of the house, making it a perfect place to hide out during the peak of summer.
  • Add awnings. The U.S. Department of Energy says that adding awnings to your south- and west-facing windows can reduce solar heat gain in a home by 77%. Also, if you need to replace your windows any time soon, be sure to get double-paned windows, which provide better insulation.
  • Run your wrist under cool water for five seconds. One of your main veins is particularly close to the surface when it passes through your wrist, so cooling it down will spread the colder blood out throughout the rest of your body.
  • Think about snow (or swimming pools). The mind is a powerful tool and studies show that thinking about cool stuff can actually make us feel less warm.

Image Via Louish Pixel [Flickr]


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A Folding Bed That Converts Into An Ottoman

Folding couches are really heavy and uncomfortable for both the sitter and the sleepers, but this fantastic folding ottoman bed is great for putting your feet up and can provide a convenient sleeping space for your overnight guests that weigh up to 250 pounds.

Read more about the clever, space-saving design over at Homes and Hues: The Folding Ottoman Bed Provides Comfort for Residents and Guests Alike


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Make A Table With A Built-In Ice Box

Whether you already have a nice patio table or want to make your own, now you can learn to make your own (or hack your existing table) thanks to this great tutorial by Remodelaholic. The article is incredibly detailed so you can really get all the instructions you need to do the work for yourself.

Switching the chest out once the whole thing is complete is pretty simple, so even though it's not included in the DIY article, you can always consider switching out the boxes for planters so you can have a living floral centerpiece in your table.

Read more about the project over at Homes and Hues: Make Your Own Patio Table With Built-In Ice Boxes


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Damn Fine Shower Curtain

It's hard to think of a more terrific and horrible idea for a shower curtain than a Twin Peaks one showing Laura Palmer after her body was unwrapped in a shower curtain. Of course, fans of the cult favorite are sure to love the design, but just in case you don't want anything quite that creepy to those who aren't viewers of the show, the minimalistic version of the Red Room is certain to horrify only those who love David Lynch's eerily strange TV show.

There are even more great Twin Peaks shower curtains available on Society6, check out more of the designs over at Homes and Hues: Forget the Coffee, These Are Damn Fine Shower Curtains


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8 Houses Made From Things Not Intended to Be Housing Materials

Grain silos are everywhere so when they go unused, there's no much you can do with them other than tear them down or leave them sitting around -or convert them into houses, which is a great way to reuse the materials and end up with a unique house.

Alternatively, out of commission airplanes can be sold off for scrap and melted down, or they can be used for housing parts like this incredible house in Malibu that features airplane wings for the roof.

And these are only a few of the non-conventional building materials featured on this great Homes and Hues article: 8 Homes Made From Non-Traditional Materials


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The Most Brilliant Bike Storage Idea Ever

If you use a bike and don't have a garage, your storage options can be rather frustrating -you either leave it outside in the elements or you have to leave it up against the wall or hang it up inside where it will probably take up a lot of your space. When one artist and her family opted to renovate their Victorian home in Sydney, their requests were simple. They wanted more space for their art and bikes. The pulley solution devised by Tribe Studio was brilliant as it removes the bikes from view and adds an additional skylight that provides unique lighting depending on how many bikes are stored up near the ceiling.

Check out more pictures and read more about the brilliant design over at Homes and Hues: Tribe Studio's House Bruce Alexander Is A Bike-Lover's Dream


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Forget the Dustpan, CentraLux Makes Sweeping Easier

While the idea of a central vacuum system isn't new, they aren't particularly useful for hardwood or tile floors. But the CentraLux changes all that by using the vacuum to eliminate the need for a dustpan and the need to ever bend over while sweeping (something a lot of people can appreciate). 

Just sweep up your floor, get the dust pile over by the VacPan and then hit the switch with your foot to suck up all the dust and debris. It's like the simplicity of sweeping things under the rug only actually getting rid of your dust pile cleanly.

Learn more about the new innovation at Homes and Hues: CentraLux Changes the Cleaning Game


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11 of the Strangest and Coolest Hotels in the World

Are you too cool for school? You might feel like that if you spend the night in an elementary school classroom converted into a hotel room. Of course, when it comes to cool, it's hard to beat the ice hotel in Sweden, which has to be kept at below freezing at all times. 

For those looking for a little more depth in their travels, this mine-converted into a hotel suite is a whopping 500 feet below the surface. 

If the puns are driving you crazy already, then you could always take a detour to the V8 hotel where life moves fast, but you're always in style.

All these hotels and more are part of our newest Homes and Hues feature article featuring 11 of the Most Unique Hotels in the World.


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Make Any Staircase Into A Slide With The SlideRider

Kids have always found fun ways to slide down the stairs, but while it's a fun indoor activity, it's not a particularly safe one. Thanks to the SlideRider though, kids of the world can finally glide down the stairs without making their parents worry about their safety -and the cool device can even be packed up and stored away in a small, simple bundle. 

See more pictures of the prototype and learn more about the new invention and how you can track the idea over on Homes and Hues: The SlideRider Makes Your Stairs Into A Slide

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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The Perfect Dish Rack For Drying Out Wet Godzilla Toys

The Manhattan skyline is the most famous and most beautiful cityscapes in the world, but who knew it was also great for organizing your desk items and for drying dishes? Designer Luca Nichetto's Inception dish rack/desk organizer is perfect for both and for reliving one of the coolest scenes of Inception and making your own Godzilla movie with your toys.

Want to see more? Then don't miss the full article over at Homes and Hues: The Inception Dish Rack/Desk Organizer Is Perfect for Godzilla Fans


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The Old & New Blend Beautifully in the Winsomere Crescent

When you have a good waterfront home but don't think you have enough views of the waterway or enough space and a modern enough design, you can either tear it down and start over or you can renovate what you have. The later is what the owner of this Westmere, Auckland, Australia home decided to do and the end result is a seamless blend between the new and old designs.

The original home had beautiful, striking lead-lined windows and brick walls which were painted white. A few of the original rooms were left alone, but the living space upstairs was converted into an open-space plan with a striking view of the waterways outside.

The cedar and zinc designs from the new areas perfectly compliment the older section's white brick and colorful windows and the result is simply beautiful.

Check out more stunning pictures and read more about the remodel over at Homes and Hues: Dorrington Atcheson Architects' Winsomere Crescent Makes Magic From Light and Colors


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Forgotten Heroes Who Changed the Course of American History

A few months back, we asked you guys to submit your article ideas to us on Pinterest and then we asked you to vote for the winning idea. The overwhelming winner of the popular vote was Marilyn Terrell, who came up with the idea of Forgotten Heroes and Villains Who Changed American History. In putting together the article, I found way too many heroes, so there are no villains here, but I’m sure you’ll all agree that these men and women certainly made an impact on history.

Joseph Warren

While during his time he was regarded as the architect of the American Revolution and at least fourteen US states have a Warren County named after him, few people recognize the name Joseph Warren.

Dr. Joseph Warren wrote a series of resolves that helped serve as the blueprints for the first American government, he sent Paul Revere on his famous ride, he fought in the battles of Lexington and Concord, and he was a close associate with other leading revolutionaries such as John Hancock, John Adams and Samuel Addams. So why haven't you heard of him?

Likely because most of the patriots we're taught about since elementary school went on to do great things after the war, but Warren actually died in the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill, where he chose to serve as a private although he was ranked as a Major General. Even after he ran out of ammo, he chose to stay on the front lines so the militia could make its escape.

While it might be the very reason he's not widely remembered today, Warren's death did help the revolutionary cause by providing them with a martyr who helped inspired even more patriots to fight the British.

Sources: National Parks Service, The American Revolution, NCBI, Forest Hills Trust and MW Site

Sybil Ludington


Speaking of the famous midnight ride, there are a lot of people who deserve a lot more credit than Paul Revere, who didn’t even finish his ride before being captured by the British. One particularly notable rider was Sybil Ludington, a sixteen year old girl who rode sidesaddle, alone, in the rain for forty miles (twice the distance Revere covered) to alert her father’s troops that they needed to meet at the Ludington farm to fight back against British raiders in Danbury, Connecticut. During the trip, she used a long stick to not only knock on the doors of the troops, but also to fight off a highwayman she encountered on her route.

Thanks to Sybil’s actions, 400 troops were ready to fight the next day and the group was able to join the Continental Army and chase the British out of Connecticut. For those wondering why we remember Paul Revere’s name above all the other successful riders from the Revolution, the simple reason is because Henry Wadsworth Longfellow found that Revere rhymes with a lot of things, including “listen my children and you shall hear.”

Sources: The Smithsonian, Historic Patterson, About.com

James Armistead Lafayette

During the Revolutionary War, some aristocrats sent their slaves to battle in their place, but James Armistead Lafayette actually asked his master for permission to fight on the side of the patriots. That isn’t what made him so notable, instead it’s the fact that he was the first African American double agent.

First, he was assigned to spy on the recent defector, General Benedict Arnold, who trusted him so much that he asked Armistead to guide British troops through the local roads. After Arnold went north in 1781, James went to serve General Cornwallis. While spending time in the camp, he relayed vital information to the Americans regarding the British troop and arms deployment. His reports were considered critical in the defeat of the British in the Battle of Yorktown and the capture of General Cornwallis.

Continue reading

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The 15 Most Gorgeous Pools On Earth

I don't know about you guys, but I've been sitting here sweating like crazy in Southern California, which makes me long for a pool. While I may not have one of my own, I can at least dream about it and these 15 pools are pretty much the most amazing pools I could ever hope to take a dip in one day.

From infinity pools balancing over cliff faces to intricately tiled mosiac masterpieces to a pool inside of someone's living room, you'll be amazed at some of these incredible swimming areas.

Trust me, you don't want to miss this cool Homes and Hues article: 15 of the Most Awe-Inspiring Pools In the World


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Tearing Off Your Wallpaper Has Never Been So Fun

This wallpaper is a total ripoff -in the best way possible! That's because it was intentionally designed to be pulled off your walls in any pattern to create a unique and fun pattern. You can even really experiement with the design by putting your own patterns on the wall before applying (and then partially removing) the wallpaper like you see in the image above that was applied to this child's "art."

Check out more cool pictures of the design at Homes and Hues: Tear Off Wallpaper Lets You Customize Your Walls Like Never Before


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The Stunning Views And Spacious Interiors of the Glass House Mountain House

The Glass House Mountains are a beautiful stretch of volcanic landscape in Australia. The Glass House Mountain House is a beautiful house built at the peak of one of these hills.

The open design flows freely from interior to exterior spaces, allowing natural cooling as well as allowing for a more spacious feel to the home. This also helps make the structure feel more in touch with its striking natural surroundings.

The designers further worked to make the structure reflect its setting by mimicking the mountain's earth, forest and sky with stone, timber and glass materials that make the space feel all at once grounded and floating at the same time.

Check out more pictures of the amazing cantilevered house at Homes and Hues: Striking Textures, Lines and Angels Rule in the Glass House Mountain House


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The Ultimate Grill, Table and Firepit In One

Admittedly, the Jag Grill is probably a little too big and expensive for most of us to use on a regular basis, but if you have the space and an extra $2,500, it might just be the perfect grill for your next bg barbecue. That's because the design has a firepit in the middle, surrounded by a grill that each person can use and a table space for up to eight people. 

Find out more about the cool new design over at Homes and Hues: A Dining Table, Firepit And Grill In One


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An Automatic Flushing Toilet For Your Home

I don't know about you guys, but I've been wondering how long I'd have to wait before we all have automatic toilets in our house. Obviously those big industrial toilets you see in public locations will be too big and awkward (as well as ugly) for a typical home, but that's been the only real option available up until now.

Kohler is now selling toilets that have an easy to use no touch flush system, but best of all, they are even selling retrofitting kits that allow you turn any toilet into an automatic flushing system for $100.

You can read more about the new products at Homes and Hues: Kohler Brings the Automatic Toilet Into Residential Homes


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Win One of Three NeatoShop Tees

Good news for all you Zelda fans out there, the NeatoShop has partnered with Zelda Informer to give away three free tee shirts to our fans. Want to win one of them? Then just do the following activities to gain entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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11 Awesome Yard and Garden Accessories

I don't know about you guys, but I'm tired of all the lively garden gnomes that keep appearing in my neighborhood. That's why I'm so happy to see these more mellow versions. Of course, if you like to go for something a little more middle of the road, there's always the zombie option.

And here's a useful bird house for those migratory birds that always stop by your house in the middle of their long journeys. 

These are only a few of the 11 Fun Yard & Garden Accessories To Kick Off Your Summer that we just featured on Homes and Hues, so don't miss the full list.


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You Can Feel the Spirit of Vegas in the Trescara House

You don't have to visit the strip to experience the glamour of Las Vegas. In fact, some people in the city are lucky enough to have incorporated that same level of stunning design right in their own homes.

In fact, the Trescara home by assemblageSTUDIO features a chandelier and a pool that both rival what you would see in a fine hotel.

Granted, unlike a hotel, most people will probably never have the opportunity to explore the Trescara House for themselves, but thanks to Homes and Hues, we can at least get a good look at the beautiful structure: The Glitz and Glamour of Vegas is Alive in the Trescara House


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The Axor Starck Faucet Shows the Beauty of Clear Water

We've all seen clear sink basins and open faucets before, but never an open and clear water spout. The new Axor Starck Faucet is the first of its kind, revealing the swirling beauty of water as it can be found in nature. 

While there are a few potential problems with having a totally clear tap -particularly since most tap water is loaded with calcium that will quickly cake up the design. Even so, the potential problems of the tap's longevity are still worth dealing with in exchange for the unique and eye-catching design.

Check out more images on Homes and Hues: Enjoy the Clear Beauty of Flowing Water With the Axor Starck V


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An Incredible View -If You Can Handle The Heights

If you plan on visiting the Canadian Rockies any time soon, you have a new option when it comes to viewing the area's famous glaciers. The Glacier Skywalk, conceived and funded by Brewster Travel Canada and constructed by Sturgess Architecture and Read Jones Christoffersen Engineering is an incredible observation deck set in the heart of the mountain range. 

The views of the valley and glaciers are incredible, but if you're afraid of heights, you might find the glass pathway that hovers 918 feet above the ground to be pretty intimidating, so you might want to just stay on solid ground.

To see more pictures of the new attraction, visit Homes and Hues: Enjoy The View Jasper National Park On Glacier Skywalk


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Profile for Jill Harness

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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