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Whether it’s giving your refrigerator a much-needed deep clean or finally making the space-saving transition from plastic to velvet hangers, certain home tasks — while necessary — can’t help but be frustrating (don’t even get me started on folding a fitted sheet). For some, one of the most dreaded tasks of all is hanging a picture on the wall. There’s a lot that can go wrong when hanging your photos and artwork, from improperly marking your hardware spots and losing your perfect position to a placement that’s anything but level. And when looking for solutions, you’re bound to come across countless pieces of advice as well as products that promise to be the be all end all problem-solver you’ve been looking for. While they may seem too good to be true, there’s one product that Amazon shoppers are touting as the real deal: the Hang-O-Matic All-in-One Picture Hanging Tool.
Designed to take the hassle out of hanging pictures, the idea behind the Hang-O-Matic is simple. The device features three essential tools needed to hang something on a wall: measuring tape, a level, and wall markers. To use, first line up each wall marker on the anchor points of your piece and lock them into place once set. Then, move the device to the wall and with the attached level make sure your marks are even and gently push the markers into the wall. You’ll be left with two perfectly marked spots for your hardware on the wall that not only line up exactly with your frame, but they’re also perfectly level! After that all that’s left to do is hang your picture — it’s really that easy.
Customers are RAVING about this product, with one writing, “I have no clue why or how my pictures ended up crooked after measuring and leveling so many times. It was quite frustrating and left my wall with lots of extra holes. Well, this tool changed ALL that! It makes it so easy to hang pictures…STRAIGHT…the FIRST time! A chore that used to take 30 minutes, now only takes five.” Another went on to say, “I couldn’t be happier with this purchase. It made every part of the hanging process crazy easy! All the functions of the hanging device worked flawlessly and smoothly, and I will never hang anything without using this again.”
The Hang-O-Matic All-in-One Picture Hanging Tool comes in at $14.98 making it an affordable must-have to add to your tool kit. So if you’re tired of crooked photos or don’t want to hide and patch tons of extra holes anymore, try this gadget out. Let’s just say I know what I’m gifting the new homeowners in my life!
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Name: Kimberly Nesmith and her canine child, Jude
Location: Algiers Point — New Orleans, Louisiana
Size: 570 square feet
Type of Home: Half shotgun house apartment
Years Lived In: 2.5 years, renting
Kimberly Nesmith is a technical writer, but she’s also well known for her photography and art, which often features gorgeous New Orleans architecture. And ever since 2018 she’s lived in this cute rental apartment located in a truly charming part of New Orleans that isn’t super well-known: Algiers Point. “I really love the neighborhood, especially in the fall. Algiers Point is truly New Orleans’ best kept secret to me,” Kimberly explains. “I was always a Lower Garden District girl and still love it, but nothing beats AP. It’s like quaint, coastal village meets Bywater architecture meets Garden district nature. The neighborhood itself is full of great people and a true sense of community with seasonal events and always being there to help each other.”
For Halloween lovers, this time of year is a favorite, but it’s even more so for New Orleans residents. “Halloween night is so unique. After growing up in rural Alabama, it was the first time I ever saw hordes of children in the streets trick-or-treating,” says Kimberly. “It was like ‘Hocus Pocus’ came to life for me. Not to mention, the adults do their own ‘trick-or-treating’ with beverages and Jello shots on some porches. Needless to say, my own love of autumn and Halloween drew me into this place, but it’s also a perfect location by the river, just across from the bustling French Quarter.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Mystical bohemian meets goth meets tropical meets vintage? I really do just buy what I like. I do notice that I tend to favor jewel tones and unique textures. I love antiques. Furniture that has a story/history and is passed down through the generations is beautiful to me. Feels spiritual.
Inspiration: I think the older I get, I want my home to resemble a cozy cottage in the woods with natural elements and vintage, timeless pieces. I obviously use Instagram to look at photos that meets my aesthetic for decor ideas. It’s also hard not to be inspired walking around New Orleans—this city definitely speaks to my love of old, historic homes AND furniture. Everything is unique, even the paint on the houses. There’s nowhere else like it. I’m always finding a new color combination to use.
Favorite Element: I initially want to say the porch, but it’s really the open layout of the apartment. I have pocket doors that divide the living from the kitchen, but with those open and the front door open in fall/spring, it’s like one huge, amazing room. The porch itself adds a lot of square footage and openness to my living room if I have the front door open. I can also open the full-length window for more porch access. My dog loves it as well.
Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge has definitely been the size. It’s the smallest apartment I’ve ever lived in—I went from a 1,600-square-foot place to just under 600 square feet. I wanted to downsize, though, and not have the upkeep/cleaning for just one person. I’ve tried to utilize wall space and creative storage ideas.
Proudest DIY: Probably the wall in my kitchen beside the fridge. I took a vertical shelving unit and mounted it on the wall horizontally after painting it a turquoise color. I use it to store coffee mugs, glasses, etc. I used a vintage dresser from the 1950s below it to be more counter space for a coffee station and the microwave. The drawers add wonderful storage. I also like the large branch I added as a decor piece above my pocket doors. I recently found that beautiful branch on my street after a storm. It had been there for a few weeks without anyone cleaning it up, so I snatched it. I hung dried flowers from it. For this season, I thought the autumn garland would be great. I’ll add some special garland for Christmas, as well.
What percentage of your everyday home decor gets switched out for the holidays? Probably 40 percent? Depends on the holiday. I love decorating for the holidays, and we practically have a new one each month in New Orleans. A lot of my Halloween decor stays up year round, though, because it’s just my aesthetic… so I end up just adding things that are blatantly Halloween-y, like jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins, costume-y items, etc. I probably add more in for Christmas but I think my Halloween decor ends up looking extravagant just because there’s so much I have in my living room that looks like Halloween already!
How long have you been decorating your home for Halloween? Ever since I lived on my own after college… so about 11 years now.
How long does it take to decorate? Usually I can tackle it in a day, but it takes more time when I decide to buy and add more pieces (every year…) or if I go all out like I did this year with the porch. That takes another day and some help.
What’s this year’s Halloween decor theme or inspiration? I never really pick a particular theme, but my neighbor and I noticed that with our witch hats hanging from the roof that we got some “Practical Magic” vibes. My altar area also stays like that year ‘round, so I think the witch theme fits.
How much did you spend on Halloween decor this year? I’d say not more than $175. That was mostly new things like the teapot, a few new pumpkins, figurines, rugs, etc. I already have a good bit to work with. All of my decorations tend to come from HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Target, Amazon, At Home, Spirit Halloween, or random places throughout the years. I did buy a lot of larger candles this year from Warm Glow Candle Company. Their scents are the absolute best, and the candles last forever; I have one over a year old that I burn all the time that’s still going!
Overall, I tried to do Halloween on a budget this year. I know we’re all feeling the wallet shrink with Covid. Of all places, Dollar Tree was my secret this year. Rather than spend $20 on a fall leaf garland from a home decor store, I’d buy four strands of the thinner/cheaper fall leaves at Dollar Tree and twist them together. I’d have a full garland for only $4. There are tricks like that you can use to make the lower quality stuff look higher end, fuller, whatever the case, for a whole lot cheaper. That way you can spend your money on a few nicer items!
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? I know it sounds typical, but truly buy what you love, and I don’t think you have to worry about whether or not an item “goes” with what you already have. You’ll see that you likely have an innate sense of style built in… you’ll notice a theme. And try to be creative. A lot of times you can recreate a look for a lot less if you use tools like the internet and your imagination.
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.
LIVDEN, a new upcycled tile company, released their “Painted Sands” collection at the start of July, showcasing a range that’s inspired by “radiant, summer sun rays and endless, arid sandscapes”, making them the perfect choice if you’re looking to bring a touch of desert-inspired sunshine into your home.
With all tiles made in San Diego from 65-100% upcycled materials, the modern company aims to “make big impacts, increase home values and also gentle on the environment.”
The latest collection features two styles of tiles, Dec Sol and Desert Days, with both designs paying homage to the deserts of the American South West with their vibrant patterns and earthy tones that bring a little touch of wild beauty to any space.
The Desert Days range will create a showstopping space and will look striking in any area of the home, from feature walls to backsplashes, and even as a full floor covering. According to LIVDEN, the geometric triangular tile design is intended to “mimic the majestic desert mountains of the American Southwest”. On recycled 12×12 Polar Ice Terrazzo, the design is available in four colorways: Rainbow Basin, Red Rock, Saddleback Rust & Borrego Sand.
The other range in the collection, Deco Sol, features a simple yet striking half-moon design and will add endless summer sunshine to any space. The design is available in four colorways, Blue Horizon, Orange Dawn, Pink Dusk, & Twilight Grey, and Orange Dawn has proved a popular choice for kitchen backsplashes or adding a pop of color to otherwise neutral living spaces.