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Who needs a climbing gym?

Indoor Climbing Walls for the Home

Are your kids showing an interest in climbing? Anyone who has ever taken up a hobby or pastime knows that the key to mastery is putting in the hours, so some families with little climbers decided to forgo the membership to the rock climbing gym and create a climbing paradise in their own home.

It sounds a little dangerous, but these Manhattan penthouse owners (as seen on ApartmentTherapy.com) were sure to outfit the space with a belay system for safety. Once hooked in, much of the beams in the main living space are climbable, all the way as high as five stories. They've included a swing for good measure, too.

As an added bonus to the youngsters (and young-at-heart) in the home, an 80-foot slide snakes throughout the interior of the home to allow what went up to come down -- with a little more flair, of course.

Pop on over to the full article to see other instances of climbing surfaces integrated into home design. We were surprised at some of the results!

Ready to get sweaty?

Sweatin' It

I've been putting in the hours at the gym sauna lately, committed as I am to shedding my person of built-up toxins.

The sauna at my gym can best be described as "traditional," with a heating element covered in rocks to help heat the room. It's comfortable (if a room heated to 150 degrees can be described thusly) and seats 6, but every time I'm in it and the traffic is coming and going I fantasize about having my own.

Coincidentally last weekend saw me strolling up and down the aisles at the New England Home Show in Boston and turn in at the Health Mate booth, where I was given a short education on the differences in the many infrared sauna systems available on the market.

Here's one thing I didn't know: In a traditional sauna the sweat produced by the body is 97% water and 3% waste. In an infrared sauna those numbers are 80% water and 20% waste. I also found out that near and middle infrared wavelengths are ineffective on the human body, so a far infrared heater that emits the far infrared evenly is something to look for. Here's where it gets interesting. A consumer really has to look at the claims made by any given sauna, particularly when it comes to the microns it claims to emit. A far infrared sauna that claims to emit, say, 9 to 14 microns might be fibbing, as the heater would have to be at a temperature of 100 degrees or lower to emit 9 microns. 100 degrees isn't hot enough to get a person to sweat, so the literature could be intentionally misleading, preying upon those consumers who think more is more.

Bottom line: do your research before making this purchase (which can be fairly substantial.) Here's a short article on saunas to get you on your way.

Get organized in 2010! Eliminate clutter in the garage with an organizing system.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from everyone here at Renovate Your World!

Having trouble deciding on a New Year's Resolution? Here are some suggestions:

1) Get fit! Yes, 90% of the country's population has this same resolution. But you can take it one step farther. Design and create your own home gym. You'll save on membership costs, and you will have no excuse not to go every day.

2) Learn woodworking! By making your own shelves, chairs and what-have-yous, you'll be saving money (again) and learning a cool new hobby. Check out these handy How To Videos to get started learning key cutting techniques.

3) Get organized! Clutter is so 2009. Purchase and install a few closet organizers. They make a world of difference.

4) Help others! Pick a charity from our Charity Blog Series and see how you can be a little more selfless in 2010.

5) Spend more time with family! That's easier to do when the hub of the home--the kitchen--is a place you are proud of. A whole kitchen remodel may not be in the budget for 2010, but you certainly can swap out the old faucets, install some new appliances or change up the cabinets without breaking the bank. Check out these beautiful kitchens for inspiration!

What is your New Year's Resolution?

At-Home Sauna

Just my luck. Not even a week after my birthday, and I just discovered what the perfect gift would have been. The Modular Sauna Room from ThermaSol is a freestanding, completely contained sauna that you build at home. Beautifully constructed from clear western red cedar, it's as attractive as it's therapeutic. Well, my next birthday's only about 360 days away....

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