The Popular DIY Trend I Tried in My Kitchen—& What I Learned

Back in November of 2020, after a few months of thinking and rethinking what we needed from our city, community, and home (and calculating how much we had paid out in rent over the past few years), my partner and I started looking for places that offer…

Back in November of 2020, after a few months of thinking and rethinking what we needed from our city, community, and home (and calculating how much we had paid out in rent over the past few years), my partner and I started looking for places that offered a cheaper cost of living.

We found a ranch home in Yucca Valley, built in 1971, with a monthly payment that was less than half of what we were paying in Brooklyn. The caveat: popcorn ceilings, a floor-to-ceiling stone facade fireplace, three defunct jacuzzi tubs, and a lot of shag carpet. Over the last few months, we’ve been slowly tinkering, making this house feel like home (the adventures for which you can follow @cool.rancho)—and the first project I took on was the kitchen cabinets.

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How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen—Once & for All

My log cabin in upstate New York has been the retreat from the city that my parents, friends, and family have flocked to since I was two years old. For the past 29 years (go ahead, do the math), we’ve spent countless holidays, long weekends, and what f…

My log cabin in upstate New York has been the retreat from the city that my parents, friends, and family have flocked to since I was two years old. For the past 29 years (go ahead, do the math), we’ve spent countless holidays, long weekends, and what felt like endless stretches of hot summer days and cool firepit nights enjoying both the cabin and the dense forest surrounding it. But with the country, of course, come the critters, and while I’ve become used to them, it’s always a bit of a riot to see who will scream over a spider (we all always marvel at the deer). The one insect I can’t get used to indoors, however, are the ants that invariably manage to find their way into the kitchen.

Ants aren’t a rural phenomenon, as anyone (myself included) who has ever left a crumb behind on their counter will tell you. It always seems as if ants find a way to get in and then tell all their relatives about it, and before you know it, there’s a line of them stemming from god-knows-where to your countertops—and into your pantry.

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6 Unlikely Pumpkin Carving Tools You Probably Already Own

Carving a pumpkin is all fun and games…until you realize you don’t have any of the tools. Well, here’s an unexpected Halloween treat for you—you don’t actually *need* any fancy pumpkin carving equipment.
No really—all y…

Carving a pumpkin is all fun and games...until you realize you don’t have any of the tools. Well, here’s an unexpected Halloween treat for you—you don’t actually *need* any fancy pumpkin carving equipment.

No really—all you need are just a few kitchen essentials like bread knives, ice cream scoops, and cookie cutters. They can cut the top of the pumpkin, scoop out seeds, and easily carve out any shape you can imagine. 

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The Teeny-Tiny Garden Trend We’re Obsessed With

Bottle gardens are pretty much exactly what they sound like: small “gardens” planted inside a sealable bottle or container that are sometimes also referred to as terrariums. The particularly neat thing about bottle gardens is that, if done properly, th…

Bottle gardens are pretty much exactly what they sound like: small “gardens” planted inside a sealable bottle or container that are sometimes also referred to as terrariums. The particularly neat thing about bottle gardens is that, if done properly, they can become self-sustaining ecosystems that require little to no ongoing upkeep.

Choosing the Right Container

The container that you choose for your bottle garden will determine how many plants you can fit inside and the size of the plants that you add. Also keep in mind that the smaller the opening is, the harder it will be for you to get your plants inside the container initially. Ideal bottle garden containers have lids and can be sealed (otherwise you’d be creating an open terrarium which is slightly different!), are made of glass that’s clear versus opaque, and are tall enough that some space is left between the top of the plants and the bottom of the lid.

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You Can Score Vintage Cast Iron for Just $5—Here’s How

Confession: I have a cast-iron problem. Once I found them intimidating (why are they so heavy?), but now I can’t get enough of them. Whether searing salmon or baking cookies, cast-iron pans and skillets are a kitchen necessity—one that’s been making a …

Confession: I have a cast-iron problem. Once I found them intimidating (why are they so heavy?), but now I can't get enough of them. Whether searing salmon or baking cookies, cast-iron pans and skillets are a kitchen necessity—one that's been making a comeback with many chefs in recent years.

"When I pull out the cast iron, the kids know we're having something a little extra special for dinner," says coppersmith and author of Copper, Iron, and Clay; A Smith's Journey, Sara Dahmen. "I can make stew for lunch or make an apple pie in a Dutch oven over the open campfire."

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Do Yourself a Favor: Make Ciabatta Rolls

The Perfect Loaf is a column from software engineer turned bread expert (and Food52’s Resident Bread Baker), Maurizio Leo. Maurizio is here to show us all things naturally leavened, enriched, yeast-risen, you name it—basically, every vehicle to slath…


The Perfect Loaf is a column from software engineer turned bread expert (and Food52's Resident Bread Baker), Maurizio Leo. Maurizio is here to show us all things naturally leavened, enriched, yeast-risen, you name it—basically, every vehicle to slather on a lot of butter. Today, a guide to making sturdy ciabatta rolls, ideal for those summer tomato sandwiches.


Ciabatta is a relatively new style of bread, invented in Italy in the latter part of the 20th century (compared to, say, panettone, which dates back to the 1400s). Ciabatta is characterized by its crispy crust, open interior, and simple, elongated shape that some say resembles a slipper (literally “ciabatta” in Italian).

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The Art of Visible Mending Proves No Clothing Is Beyond Saving

It’s not an overstatement to say that mending changed me. What started as a simple act of self-sufficiency—learning to repair my jeans—grew into an act of love, resistance, reclaiming, creative expression, self-acceptance, disruption, activism, and mor…

It’s not an overstatement to say that mending changed me. What started as a simple act of self-sufficiency—learning to repair my jeans—grew into an act of love, resistance, reclaiming, creative expression, self-acceptance, disruption, activism, and more. The huge turning point—my light-bulb moment—was when I realized I could use my background as an artist to apply simple design elements to the repairs on my jeans.

I use basic stitches in my repair work because I want the stitches to be accessible to all the students in my workshops, regardless of their experience with sewing or embroidery. I also use basic stitches because they are often all I need. Adding more decorative stitches is always an option, one I leave to the maker. But I like to remind folks that if your repairs are in hard-wearing places on your garment—like the upper thighs of your jeans—they are going to continue to receive friction and ultimately tear again. This is an opportunity to remember that mending is an ongoing process. Each repair is also an opportunity to strengthen our designs. Sometimes we might want to save decorative stitches for areas that receive less direct friction. But, again, that’s up to you.

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I Found My Dream Apartment—Then I Looked Under the Sink

Rent Like You Mean It is a series all about giving our rental spaces a new lease. We’ve rounded up a whole host of refreshing spruce-ups (and cover-ups), impactful DIYs (plus how to get them back to square one when you leave), and peeks at real-life re…

Rent Like You Mean It is a series all about giving our rental spaces a new lease. We’ve rounded up a whole host of refreshing spruce-ups (and cover-ups), impactful DIYs (plus how to get them back to square one when you leave), and peeks at real-life rental transformations. Because a lease should never stop you from having a space that feels like yours—even if it’s only for a year.


The story of how we landed this apartment is pretty bonkers—even for New York. It was a dreamy pre-war charmer on the top floor of a fern-green turreted building, a block from the park, balanced like an elephant over the brightly-twirling ball of a popular Italian restaurant downstairs. You could smell the garlic and anchovies through the floorboards and the South-facing window light was blinding. It was the one. After three months and 50-odd viewings, we found ourselves signing a lease. We ordered bookshelves. And right after, we learned that there was an industrial-grade exhaust fan over our roof that roared every day for eight solid hours. As it turned out, it shook the walls so violently you could get a foot massage simply by standing in the center of the master bedroom.

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A DIY Ottoman Makeover—With a Twist

As a designer, the question I’m asked most often is where I get my inspiration. And the answer is: from as many sources as possible—from fashion to food, music, and cinema. But some of my favorite inspirations have come from decorative objects I’ve acq…

As a designer, the question I’m asked most often is where I get my inspiration. And the answer is: from as many sources as possible—from fashion to food, music, and cinema. But some of my favorite inspirations have come from decorative objects I’ve acquired from local markets on my travels: Spanish tiles sourced from Valencia, brightly woven textiles bought at tiny shops in the side streets of Mexico City, and beaded necklaces from the beaches of Thailand. I love spotting the little details on some of these objects that I now have at home, and using those to spark ideas.

Over the past few years, I’ve been collecting mini woven baskets from bazaars as far as Spain and Thailand, and have wanted to design a piece of furniture around them. Well, actually one basket in particular—bought from a market in Brooklyn and made by a Ghanian weaver—that boasts a glorious color combination of deep yellow and teal. A few weeks ago, I came upon the perfect vessel for the project: an old ottoman in need of some love and repair.

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Here’s How to Properly Shut Down a Grill After a Barbecue

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we’re sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.
Today: Shutting down a grill is just as important as starting it up. Read More >>

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Shutting down a grill is just as important as starting it up.

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