Home innovation should solve real-life problems and make life better, focusing on the people, not simply the systems, inside. To demonstrate, we decided to build, furnish, and tech out our ideal house: the BHG Innovation Home. Check out these useful and accessible products and ideas.View Slideshow
A California couple trades a busy suburban life for a comfortable, carefree waterfront home, decorated in a beach cottage style that welcomes friends, family, and fun all year.
Casual and fun is the perfect description for this minimally remodeled, vintage-adorable two-story home along the coast where open windows let in fresh ocean breezes and a Dutch door welcomes guests winter, spring, summer, and fall. A sidewalk is all that separates the house from the beach. Black awnings and shutters give the 1912 cottage a subtle face-lift.
With a passion for fixing up old houses the couple saw the potential in this early 20th century charmer right away. The original board-and-batten wainscoting, built-in cupboards, and exposed beam ceilings were remarkably intact, though the fir floorboards were buried under layers of linoleum and indoor-outdoor carpet. The homeowners refinished the floors and freshened the woodwork with durable white marine paint.
Neutral colors on the walls and floors make it easy to change the look of the living room, as do timeless patterns, such as stripes, and details such as the sofa's black-and-white ticking fabric. Shopping locally can give your home a sense of place. Many of the decor finds in this home came from a "crusty" old shell shop down the street.
With an indoor-outdoor lifestyle surrounding this home, the interior needed to be just as durable as the exterior. A fuss-free look combines all-weather fabrics protect upholstery, while worn wood furniture and sturdy woven rugs stand up to heavy traffic. The couple also whitewashed the brick fireplace to give it a mellow appearance.
In the small kitchen, new beaded board paneling hides exposed pipes. Accessories prove that a look can be introduced to a kitchen, without having to execute a major remodel. A red-and-white striped rug and gingham towel bring quintessential cottage charm, as does an arrangement of pitchers and plants above the sink window.
The beaded-board walls, tongue-and- groove ceiling, and "somewhat squeaky" floors are all original. Photos depicting beach memories complete the relaxing, oceanic theme of the home.
Cottage style is usually characterized by weather-worn surfaces, but an occasional burst of shine will personalize the look. The high-gloss finish on the antique dresser reflects the ample amount of light that streams through the bedroom windows, and the decidedly traditional structure of the dresser reflects back to the room's cottage styling.
Washable white denim slipcovers are as comfortable and practical as a favorite pair of jeans. The chair sits next to a window overlooking an incredible view of the waves crashing and the seals barking.