October 2014 archive

Decoratively Hide TV Components {and Still Work Your Remote}

Today I wanted to share a little piece of technology that helped us tremendously when we were designing our TV media cabinet.  Admittedly, this is more of a tech post, but trust me when I tell you that this relatively inexpensive piece of technology will help you turn ANY piece of furniture into a TV cabinet, allowing you to hide away the gazillion pieces of equipment that seem to accompany TVs nowadays!  {Note, this is NOT a sponsored post, just sharing with you a product that proved helpful to me!}

TIDBITS-&-TWINE---How-to-Hide-TV-Components

First, let me provide a two key definitions for terms that will be used in this post:

  • Components – equipment that we use in conjunction with TVs, like DVD players, satellite boxes, receivers, etc.
  • Infrared – the most common way for remote controls to command appliances {the method by which a remote control communicates with a component}

 

In the past, the decision on how to store your components was limited by the need for the components to be “visible” to the remotes that controlled them.  It used to be that you kept DVD players, satellite receivers, and the like on exposed shelves so that they could receive the infrared signals from remotes.  Or perhaps you used glass-front cabinets so that the signal could pass through the glass.  Or maybe you would just open your cabinet doors  whenever you were watching TV so that the remotes would work.  When we started thinking about the design for our built-in, none of these options really appealed to me and so I enlisted Hubby to do a bit of research such that we could hide away all of the components and still easily use our remote controls.

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Faux-Drawer-Cabinets

{Our TV components are all hidden in these cabinets that have faux drawer fronts}

 

One company that Hubby contacted said that we needed a special remote that would work even when not in a direct line-of-sight, but with a $500 price tag, I didn’t really love that option.  Another person told use that we simply needed to drill a small hole in one of our cabinet doors so that the signal from the remote could pass through.  A hole in my brand new cabinet?  No thank you!  Yet another technician suggested that we buy an external infrared receiver that would sit on a shelf and receive the signals from our remotes.  Isn’t that what I was trying to avoid in the first place?!

Instead, we ended up using an Infrared Remote Control Receiver Kit that we purchased from Amazon for $45 {affiliate link here}.

Sewell Infrared Receiver Kit

This device basically forwards the infrared signals that your remotes emit to your components, even if they are behind closed doors.  Simple and effective!  This particular one works with up to four components, so we have our satellite box, receiver, and DVD player hooked up to it.  The device sits inside the cabinet with the other components and the little plugs {that look like earbuds in the photo above} stick to the inside of the cabinet door so EVERYTHING is hidden away.

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-IR-Repeater-Cabinet-Door {I’m pretty sure the above photo wins the award for Most Boring photo ever shared on a blog!!!}

 

So what does this mean for you?  Well, if currently have to open cabinet doors so that your components will work with your remotes, this device means that you no longer have to do so!  But it also means that you can use almost ANYTHING to store TV components now  – a wet bar cabinet, an old armoire, a hutch, a dresser – and you’ll still be able to control them with your remote.  Now your storage solutions can be beautiful while still being functional and really, isn’t that the goal of decorating?!
Tidbits&Twine - Signature

 

 

 

P.S. – One word of caution!  If you choose to hide your components, be sure that there is proper ventilation.  In enclosed spaces, the components can heat up and if there isn’t an opening that allows the heat to escape, you run the risk of overheating and destroying your equipment.

 

 

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10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

It’s official!  We have entered the holiday season and you know what that means – lots of parties and get togethers with friends and family and you never want to show up empty-handed.  Hostess gifts are not an expectation or obligation, but they are certainly a nice gesture and a way of thanking the host/hostess for the hard work that went into preparing for the party.  Some gifts require a little planning, others you can can pick up on your way, but whatever you give, it should be something you feel reflects the taste of your host/hostess so that it is more meaningful to them.

TIDBITS-&-TWINE---10-Easy-and-Elegant-Hostess-Gift-Ideas

 

1. Soap

Beautiful scented soaps are an nice gift to give and something you can easily keep on hand for those last-minute parties.  I found these beautiful square soaps at a discount store and so picked up a few.  I paired this one with a small dish and a few sprigs of lavender to give as a thank you to a friend.

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Hostess-Gift

 

2. Wine

A bottle of wine is always nice, but consider skipping the wine bag and instead, wrapping it in a pretty tea towel.

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Wine-and-Dish-Towel-Hostess-Gift-2

 

3. Manicure/Spa Set

A few bottles of nail polish in a cute bag makes a nice gift…you can also add a gift certificate for the spa.  As an alternative, you can create a Mason Jar Manicure Kit, tutorial here

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Spa-Manicure-Hostess-Gift.

4. Tea/Coffee Gift Set

I recently received this beautiful teacup from a friend along with an assortment of teas for me to try.  What a wonderful gift!  You could do something similar with a nice bag of coffee and some cute coffee mugs or some coffee with an assortment of flavored syrups and creamers.

TIDBITS-&-TWINE---Jen's-Teacup

 

5. Baking Gift Set

You can purchase decorative paper loaf pans and use them to put together a small baking gift set.  Here I’ve included some utensils, vanilla extract, and a family recipe for banana nut bread.  Simple wrap it in a cellophane bag and you’re all set!

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Baking-Set-Hostess-Gift

 

6. Picture Frame

A beautiful picture frame is a gift that can also can be turned into an easy Thank You note by adding fabric to the back and using a dry erase pen to write on the glass!

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Dry-Erase-on-Frame-Hostess-Gift

 

7, Dish Towels

Pretty dish towels always make a nice gift. Here, I’ve wrapped them up with a beautiful wooden spoon and a nice cutting board, but even the towels alone would be a lovely gift.

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Dish-Towel-Hostess-Gift

 

8. Candle

I love beautiful candles, especially ones whose scent fills the house like this candle from Anthropologie.

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Anthropologie-Candle-Hostess-Gift

 

9. Flowers/Live Plants

Orchids and topiaries are two of my favorite types of plants to give as gifts, but indoor herb gardens make nice gifts as well, especially if your hostess loves to cook.

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Herb-Garden-Hostess-Gift-3

 

 

10. Olive Oil

A nice olive oil is a welcome gift for foodies.  You can pair it with balsamic vinegar and some small dipping plates to make a gift set.

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-Olive-Oil-Hostess-Gift

 

 

Gifts from the heart that you make yourself are always appreciated, but if you’re looking for an easy and elegant gift that you can buy for your host/hostess, this is my go-to list.

 

 

What are some of your favorite hostess gifts to give or receive?
Tidbits&Twine - Signature

 

 

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Friday Favorite: Library Bookcases with Ladders

Sometimes, it’s the details that draw me in and make me fall in love with an item and that’s exactly what happened when I first came across library bookcases with ladders.  Yes, it’s true, I love all bookcases, but one with a ladder?!  Well, my heart skips a beat.

 

 

The beauty of the bookcases mixed with the utilitarian nature of the ladder makes for a perfect combo in my book.

 

{via Houzz}

{via Houzz}

 

 

If you have tall ceilings, one advantage is that you can take your bookcase all the way to the ceiling and yet still easily access the upper shelves.

{via Kvanum}

{via Kvanum}

 

 

So beautiful!

 

Library bookcases with ladders aren’t limited to those that are built-in.  Freestanding ones are equally beautiful and sometimes, more realistic for your space.

{via Zin Home}

{via Zin Home}

 

 

If you’re not planning a remodel with built-ins, you can still have one of these beauties.  Some freestanding bookcases can be purchased with ladders, like this one from Restoration Hardware:

{Restoration Hardware 1950s Dutch Shipyard Triple Shelving}

{Restoration Hardware 1950s Dutch Shipyard Triple Shelving}

 

Or this one from Cost Plus World Market:

{Cost Plus World Market Agustus Library Bookshelf}

{Cost Plus World Market Augustus Library Bookshelf}

 

You can also purchase ready-made bookcase ladders from vendors like {this one}.

 

 

A taller bookcase with a ladder was in my original plans for our master bedroom, but budget just didn’t allow for it.  I still dream of having one, though…. :)

 

Tidbits&Twine - Signature

 

 

 

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