Have you ever wanted to unlock your door with a fingerprint? Control the indoor and outdoor lights with your phone? You can do those things and more with a smart home. We show you how to get a home with connected technology and remote-operated devices that are designed to improve and simplify your life. We sift through the many options, including smart appliances, new apps, and smartphone and tablet innovation, and only bring you those that can make your life better. We give you tips and tricks for navigating the new home technologies and help you with buying decisions.See More
See how a photographer and her husband opened their petite cottage home to nature's beauty with sky blues, sunshine yellows, and plenty of rustic textures.
This picture-perfect cottage embraces nature’s beauty through light, color, and texture. Double-hung windows throughout the house allow for a steady stream of sunlight to drench the home with natural appeal. With a large front yard offering plenty of separation between the home and the road, privacy is never an issue for the homeowners.
The living room’s large windows, ceiling beams, and Gothic-style brick fireplace were among the original features that stood out most to the homeowners. They painted the walls, ceiling, and fireplace surround white to simplify the space and to reflect light streaming in from the windows. Featuring a palette of golden yellow, chocolate brown, and pale blue, the accessories ensure the all-white living space doesn’t feel sterile and cold.
Patterned pillows in sunny yellow, royal blue and soft blue-gray add warmth to the home’s all-white color scheme. A mix of rustic textures, such as unfinished woods, wicker, and wrought iron, add visual weight to the light, bright spaces. In the living room, a pair of timeworn wooden tables work together to function as a central coffee table.
Inspired by their travels, the homeowners made a bold style statement in the kitchen with Cuban-style concrete tile that mimics patterned wallpaper. The striking wall treatment gives the small kitchen dramatic visual appeal. The rustic ceiling beams overhead add texture and visual weight. A tiny table placed in the center of the kitchen provides additional prep space and a casual eating spot.
In rooms where the house lacked natural light, the homeowners made way for more. In the kitchen, cabinetry above the sink was removed in favor of a large bank of windows. Now, the sink area overlooks a freshly planted vegetable garden, a place the homeowners frequent as they experiment with new recipes and ingredients.
The homeowners eat most of their meals in the dining room, so designing it to be comfortable and casual was paramount on their design list. An unfinished wood dining table and a variety of seating options create an eclectic, natural vibe that’s echoed by an oversize basket chandelier and bird-and-branch patterned draperies.
Like the rest of the home, the walls in the bedroom were painted white to provide a neutral backdrop for furnishings and accessories. The homeowners kept foundational pieces, such as the wrought-iron bed frame and wooden nightstands, neutral to allow an ever-changing array of pillows, throws, and accessories. A white-painted driftwood mirror frame adds a hint of rustic texture.
Similar to the rest of the home, the bathroom features a carefully thought-out blend of textures. A pair of metal medicine cabinets draws stark contrast between the weathered oak washstands and wicker storage baskets below. The console-style sinks ensure the bathroom countertops are never full of clutter and mess. Unlike the rest of the home, the bathroom walls were painted a rich gray color to prevent the space from looking sterile and cold.
The homeowners renovated the unfinished basement to create a cozy hangout for watching TV and relaxing with company. Some of the brick walls were left unfinished to blend with other rustic elements throughout the home. The slipcovered love seats are easy to clean and lend a neutral backdrop for a collection of energetic, patterned throw pillows.
A weathered metal and wood unit in the basement offers open storage and display space for a variety of odds and ends. The unfinished character of the unit blends well with the rough brick walls and wooden posts throughout the space. The attached stool swivels from side to side and provides a spot for the homeowners to take a seat and use the tabletop as a desk.