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Book Friday: Michael S Smith

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Recently I had the pleasure of meeting designer Michael S Smith and he gave me a copy of his latest book, Michael S Smith Kitchens and Baths published by Rizzoli.  Page after page are filled with jaw dropping inspiration that every home can benefit from!

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This is such a serene bathroom.  (Photo by Brian Doben)

1 This is such a serene bathroom. (Photo by Brian Doben)

The Asher striped marble Michael used in this bathroom is absolutely stunning. (Photo by Michael Mundy)

2 The Asher striped marble Michael used in this bathroom is absolutely stunning. (Photo by Michael Mundy)

These metallic tiles are very glamorous in the bath. (Photo by Michael Mundy)

3 These metallic tiles are very glamorous in the bath. (Photo by Michael Mundy)

This Italianate home in Laguna Beach, California boasts a kitchen inspired by villas along the Amalfi coast.  (photo by Grey Crawford)

4 This Italianate home in Laguna Beach, California boasts a kitchen inspired by villas along the Amalfi coast. (photo by Grey Crawford)

I really like the clean lines of this palm Springs kitchen. (photo by Grey Crawford)

5 I really like the clean lines of this palm Springs kitchen. (photo by Grey Crawford)

The Moroccan tiling on the walls makes this room adds a layer of pattern. (photo by Simon Upton for The World of Interiors)

6 The Moroccan tiling on the walls makes this room adds a layer of pattern. (photo by Simon Upton for The World of Interiors)

An idyllic setting. (photo by Michael Mundy)

7 An idyllic setting. (photo by Michael Mundy)

Homekeeping: The Invaluable Squeegee

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I have a housekeeping secret to share with you...

It all started with a gift I received from my friend Alexis upon moving into my current apartment.

We live in the same building which has floor to ceiling windows, so she thoughtfully gave me a squeegee window cleaning set. It came with a bucket, cleaning solution, and an extension rod that helped me clean the hard to reach upper reaches of the beautiful but challenging windows.

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Soon  enough, I found that squeegees could be used for so much more than cleaning windows. They're great for floors, showers and to quickly wash off counters.

Here are a few of my favorite products that will help make your surfaces squeaky, squeegee clean...

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This fun-colored squeegee brush is for cleaning up pet hair. (bissell.com)

1 This fun-colored squeegee brush is for cleaning up pet hair. (bissell.com)

This broom is good for cleaning up both dry and wet messes, and messes with a little bit of both. (containerstore.com)

2 This broom is good for cleaning up both dry and wet messes, and messes with a little bit of both. (containerstore.com)

This curved squeegee makes sure liquid messes will be well contained.

3 This curved squeegee makes sure liquid messes will be well contained.

This shower squeegee comes with a handy hook that fits around the shower nozzle. (casabella.com)

4 This shower squeegee comes with a handy hook that fits around the shower nozzle. (casabella.com)

A simple floor squeegee is good for cleaning up spills. (northerntool.com)

5 A simple floor squeegee is good for cleaning up spills. (northerntool.com)

This combination brush and squeegee cleans up small messes. The squegee in the middle of the brush makes sure nothing is left behind. (bissell.com)

6 This combination brush and squeegee cleans up small messes. The squegee in the middle of the brush makes sure nothing is left behind. (bissell.com)

I actually own this sleek shower squeegee by Vipp. It's in my shower at home. (vipp.com)

7 I actually own this sleek shower squeegee by Vipp. It's in my shower at home. (vipp.com)

I love that this squeegee has a microfiber pad on it. (casabella.com)

8 I love that this squeegee has a microfiber pad on it. (casabella.com)

A stainless steel squeegee that would look in place in almost any kitchen. (oxo.com)

9 A stainless steel squeegee that would look in place in almost any kitchen. (oxo.com)

Another great squeegee for the shower. Easy to hang up and barely noticeable. (containerstore.com)

10 Another great squeegee for the shower. Easy to hang up and barely noticeable. (containerstore.com)

They call this brook the

11 They call this brook the "bulldozer" which I find very fitting. (quickie.com)

Housewarming Gift Kits

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Summer is a big season for moving, so you may have a few new faces on your block or in your building these next few months.

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If you're like me and try to avoid the kitchen at all costs, housewarming gifts can be a challenge.

Instead delivering a basket of muffins or a pound cake, I create custom "housewarming kits" filled with the kinds of things that every new home should have. The best part is you can tailor the kits to fit the needs or personalities of the homeowner.

Here are my favorite housewarming kit ideas that will be welcomed by any new neighbor (and will last long after the last muffin is eaten).

Clean House Kit
The first thing you want to do in any new space is wipe down floors, walls...and basically everything before you unpack your own possessions. These essential cleaners will help neighbors make a fresh start.

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These colorful broom sets from IKEA are so bright and cheery, they almost make cleaning fun. (ikea.com)

1 These colorful broom sets from IKEA are so bright and cheery, they almost make cleaning fun. (ikea.com)

We use this product around the Martha Stewart Living offices. Their new house will be delightfully clean once they use this all-purpose cleaner. (marthastewart.com)

2 We use this product around the Martha Stewart Living offices. Their new house will be delightfully clean once they use this all-purpose cleaner. (marthastewart.com)

Cleaning a new house can use up a lot of paper towels, which isn't great for the environment. Give a roll of recycled paper towels and both your friends and the earth will thank you. (seventhgeneration.com)

3 Cleaning a new house can use up a lot of paper towels, which isn't great for the environment. Give a roll of recycled paper towels and both your friends and the earth will thank you. (seventhgeneration.com)

These pop-up sponges are perfect for gifting. They're compact until hydrated, and then they're ready to take on the toughest messes. (williams-sonoma.com)

4 These pop-up sponges are perfect for gifting. They're compact until hydrated, and then they're ready to take on the toughest messes. (williams-sonoma.com)

These trash bags will make for a unique, practical gift. They come in many different patterns and they're also biodegradeable. (designerliners.com)

5 These trash bags will make for a unique, practical gift. They come in many different patterns and they're also biodegradeable. (designerliners.com)

This microfiber dusting rag is going to be a big help for your moving friends. It's extra thick and can even be used with water. (casabella.com)

6 This microfiber dusting rag is going to be a big help for your moving friends. It's extra thick and can even be used with water. (casabella.com)

These smart gloves have cuffs to catch any run-off water, leaving no watery messes to mop up. These gloves will get a lot of use in the new home. (casabella.com)

7 These smart gloves have cuffs to catch any run-off water, leaving no watery messes to mop up. These gloves will get a lot of use in the new home. (casabella.com)

Scouring is sophisticated with this organic looking scrub brush. (caldrea.com)

8 Scouring is sophisticated with this organic looking scrub brush. (caldrea.com)

A new candle can come in handy during a power outage or simply give a musty space a clean scent. Find out how to make your own at : marthastewart.com/268488/make-a-candle

9 A new candle can come in handy during a power outage or simply give a musty space a clean scent. Find out how to make your own at : marthastewart.com/268488/make-a-candle

This bucket is a beautiful, but functional package for your housewarming gift. Throw everything in and the package doubles as a bucket for mopping or cleaning counters. (casabella.com)

10 This bucket is a beautiful, but functional package for your housewarming gift. Throw everything in and the package doubles as a bucket for mopping or cleaning counters. (casabella.com)

Picture-Perfect Kit
Your favorite photographs and artwork really make a empty space feel like home. This kit is packed with things to make hanging a snap.

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Make your neighbor's house a home with this ribbon trimmed frame. You can even offer to take a picture of them outside their new home to put in the frame. (macys.com)

1 Make your neighbor's house a home with this ribbon trimmed frame. You can even offer to take a picture of them outside their new home to put in the frame. (macys.com)

Invisible hanging wire would be great for hanging frames. (containerstore.com)

2 Invisible hanging wire would be great for hanging frames. (containerstore.com)

These mounting squares are great for less-formal picture hanging. They can be used for putting up kid's art on the refrigerator. (containerstore.com)

3 These mounting squares are great for less-formal picture hanging. They can be used for putting up kid's art on the refrigerator. (containerstore.com)

I like these wood pushpins. They're a chic option for tacking up pictures on the cork board. (containerstore.com)

4 I like these wood pushpins. They're a chic option for tacking up pictures on the cork board. (containerstore.com)

3M makes all kinds of handy hooks, including some designed to hang picture frames. (containerstore.com)

5 3M makes all kinds of handy hooks, including some designed to hang picture frames. (containerstore.com)

A picture hanging must-have is a laser level like this Black & Decker model. This important tool banishes off-kilter frames for good. (homedepot.com)

6 A picture hanging must-have is a laser level like this Black & Decker model. This important tool banishes off-kilter frames for good. (homedepot.com)

A museum quality archival box is the perfect container for your gift. Afterward, they can keep photos in the box for safe keeping. (containerstore.com)

7 A museum quality archival box is the perfect container for your gift. Afterward, they can keep photos in the box for safe keeping. (containerstore.com)

Welcome Home Kit
The front door is the first impression a home makes on visitors. Give the new homeowners their own warm welcome with a pretty planter, house numbers or a custom door mat.

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Buy a nice pot and plant some flowers or a small evergreen for your neighbors to put next to their front door. (benwolffpottery.com)

1 Buy a nice pot and plant some flowers or a small evergreen for your neighbors to put next to their front door. (benwolffpottery.com)

These aren't just any old house numbers. Make your neighbors house stand-out with with these gorgeous solid brass art-deco pieces. (restorationhardware.com)

2 These aren't just any old house numbers. Make your neighbors house stand-out with with these gorgeous solid brass art-deco pieces. (restorationhardware.com)

This DIY custom welcome mat will impress any new homeowner. Learn how to make it at: marthastewart.com/272368/custom-doormat

3 This DIY custom welcome mat will impress any new homeowner. Learn how to make it at: marthastewart.com/272368/custom-doormat

This storage bin comes in many different patterns and colors. It's the perfect size to package these ingredients for a welcome home kit  and comes with nifty handles to carry it to the neighbors house. (hableconstruction.com)

4 This storage bin comes in many different patterns and colors. It's the perfect size to package these ingredients for a welcome home kit and comes with nifty handles to carry it to the neighbors house. (hableconstruction.com)

Proper Protection Kit
Many homeowners overlook the importance of surface protectors. But these small, inexpensive details can keep your home looking better...longer.

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Your new neighbors can make custom shapes out of this piece of rectangular adhesive felt. (containterstore.com)

1 Your new neighbors can make custom shapes out of this piece of rectangular adhesive felt. (containterstore.com)

I use these cork surface protectors in my kitchen. They keep my cupboards from scratching and they mute the noise. (homedepot.com)

2 I use these cork surface protectors in my kitchen. They keep my cupboards from scratching and they mute the noise. (homedepot.com)

Your new neighbors will thank you once they find out how  much they need these EZ Glide surface protectors. I always have a pack ready to use in my home. (ezglide.com)

3 Your new neighbors will thank you once they find out how much they need these EZ Glide surface protectors. I always have a pack ready to use in my home. (ezglide.com)

A clever, functional door stopper. (uncommongoods.com)

4 A clever, functional door stopper. (uncommongoods.com)

Museum putty is great to stick on the bottom of ceramic vases. To keep them from moving or making scratches. (containerstore.com)

5 Museum putty is great to stick on the bottom of ceramic vases. To keep them from moving or making scratches. (containerstore.com)

I use this museum gel to adhere candles in their candlesticks. It's a must have for any household. (containerstore.com)

6 I use this museum gel to adhere candles in their candlesticks. It's a must have for any household. (containerstore.com)

These are the classic surface protectors. Your new neighbors will find so many uses for these, they'll have to buy more. (containerstore.com)

7 These are the classic surface protectors. Your new neighbors will find so many uses for these, they'll have to buy more. (containerstore.com)

Goo Gone is great for getting out all of the pesky sticky messes left by the old neighbors. (homedepot.com)

8 Goo Gone is great for getting out all of the pesky sticky messes left by the old neighbors. (homedepot.com)

Marthastewart.com has many more tips and ideas about protecting surfaces that you can pass long to your neighbors. (marthastewart.com/268286/safeguarding-any-surface)

9 Marthastewart.com has many more tips and ideas about protecting surfaces that you can pass long to your neighbors. (marthastewart.com/268286/safeguarding-any-surface)

This rugby bag makes a re-usable package for your housewarming gift. The new neighbors can use it store kids toys, or just fold-it up and store it away until they need it. (containerstore.com)

10 This rugby bag makes a re-usable package for your housewarming gift. The new neighbors can use it store kids toys, or just fold-it up and store it away until they need it. (containerstore.com)

Smart Tool Kit
Moving is a stressful time. So rifling through 20 boxes to find that hammer or some glue is the last thing you need. These clever and chic tools will make the transition smooth.

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Who knew a screw-driver set could have so much style? (alicesupplyco.com)

1 Who knew a screw-driver set could have so much style? (alicesupplyco.com)

The matching hammer will make for a one-of-a-kind gift. (alicesupplyco.com)

2 The matching hammer will make for a one-of-a-kind gift. (alicesupplyco.com)

This travel-size WD-40 pen will come in handy on your neighbors move-in day. (containerstore.com)

3 This travel-size WD-40 pen will come in handy on your neighbors move-in day. (containerstore.com)

Glue comes in a must-have for items too fragile to nail. (homedepot.com)

4 Glue comes in a must-have for items too fragile to nail. (homedepot.com)

Krazy glue is a miracle worker. Especially for that favorite vase that was broken en route. (target.com)

5 Krazy glue is a miracle worker. Especially for that favorite vase that was broken en route. (target.com)

These containers can be used for anything, but are perfect for storing small tool bits. You can buy one of these small containers and fill the compartments with nails, tacks and screws from your own toll kit. (containerstore.com)

6 These containers can be used for anything, but are perfect for storing small tool bits. You can buy one of these small containers and fill the compartments with nails, tacks and screws from your own toll kit. (containerstore.com)

This simple wooden tool kit is a classic way to package your gift. You can even paint it a fun color to match their exterior or door. (homedepot.com)

7 This simple wooden tool kit is a classic way to package your gift. You can even paint it a fun color to match their exterior or door. (homedepot.com)