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
Give your home decor a lift with these easy decorating projects that are fun, fresh, and fast!
Artwork doesn't have to be expensive or hard to find to be pretty and special. Gather a handful of floating frames to hang on a wall in an abstract arrangement. Fill the frames with beautiful letterpress cards, your grandmother's handkerchiefs, or anything that strikes your fancy and complements your decor.
No money? No time? No problem! This versatile window treatment won't set your budget back, and you can complete it in almost no time.
Skip the nightstand and opt for wall-mounted cubes instead. Ours are from soapboxhome.com. Place a smaller cube above a larger one and you'll have a flat surface for bedside necessities.
Transform a pillow in under a minute with this smart technique that starts with a scarf. Watch and learn how!
Display your baubles on a jewelry organizer that's equally pretty. Cut a decorative metal screen to fit inside a salvaged frame. Paint the screen, and use a staple gun to attach the screen to the back of the frame.
Transform a secondhand tray into a pretty display piece with a stenciled design. Watch and see how it's done!
If you have a lamp with a great shape, but a less than stellar finish, simply spray paint it! Watch and see the secrets to success.
Fake the look of wallpaper with a stamped design. Map out a grid and use regular ink to stamp your desired shape where the grid lines intersect.
Paint the backside of a piece of glass, frame it, and you have a new take on a message board. And the funner the color, the better. We painted our glass in a peppy green, which pops in a gray and white kitchen. A frame around our glass gives the simple piece a custom feel, plus a ledge for housing markers. Messages written in dry-erase markers wipe away easily
See how to personalize a basic pillow with your monogram in 30 minutes.
Create an industrial chic centerpiece with old springs. Secure springs to a board with construction adhesive, and put jars, vases, or test tubes inside the springs to hold flowers.
Don't let the inside of a stained wood bookcase or hutch keep beautiful display pieces in the dark. Show off the contents and lighten the decorative mood of the entire room by painting the shelves' interior backing a lively color. Add even more personality by wallpapering the inside with a fun pattern.
Add intricate architectural detailing with ease. This elegant wainscoting looks like the result of hours of elaborate work, but it just calls for a visit to a home center. The ready-made PVC latticework panels are mounted on the wall above the baseboard and topped with a chair rail made from 1x4 and 1x2 boards. Screen molding is nailed in place to hide the joints where the panels meet. Paint the raw wood pieces with white paint color-matched to the PVC.
Give your tablet a home in your kitchen with a simple stand made from lumber and a photo frame. To create the base, cut one long end of a 5x8-inch block at an angle with a table saw so the frame can be mounted to it. Cut a 1/2-inch bevel that will hold the tablet at an angle -- approximately 18 degrees. Paint the base, then attach the frame to the stand with wood glue; secure with clamps and dry.
The secret to this doodled lampshade? A bleach pen! Put your drawing abilities on display by customizing a boring cotton lampshade with doodled designs. Using a Clorox bleach pen, we scribbled a whimsical design of flowers, leaves, swirls, and figure-8s on a fuchsia fabric lampshade. Work in small sections around the lampshade to avoid smears and smudges. When the designs turn white, rinse away the excess bleach in the sink. Allow the shade to dry before use.
Turn a plain bulletin board into a decorative accessory that's functional, too. Display a bulletin board in a stylish frame -- try a chunky black frame for modern decor or gilded molding to fit more traditional style. Then add a decorative wall decal on the cork to dress up the memo board.
Transform the smallest of corners into a storage-packed office by utilizing wall space. Here, a wall-mount shelf becomes a desk with plenty of work space, and a board outfitted with wall-mount organizers takes organization vertical.
Turn a nonfunctioning fireplace into a practical and pretty storage space by outfitting it with shelves. Measure the opening and build a plywood insert to fit snugly inside. Cut shelves to fit across. Then paint the pieces and wallpaper the back of the insert. Screw the shelves in place, and set the insert in the firebox.
Plain furniture is a blank canvas begging for embellishment. For pieces with legs -- like desks, chairs, and consoles -- go for a dip-dyed effect. Determine how high you want the color to go, and use painter's tape to mask off the area. Paint the legs your desired color and remove the painter's tape. Consider a completely contrasting color, or opt for a metallic, like on this desk.
Turn a tired piece of furniture into a new treasure. Search flea markets and garage sales for old furniture pieces with good bones. This charming desk was originally a vanity table. After the mirror was removed, the table was sanded, primed, and painted. Pretty papers decoupaged onto the drawer fronts and new knobs add decorative character.
Think outside the box. In the dining room, try this creative alternative for a standard hutch or china cabinet. Hang a pair of bookcases horizontally on the wall, then slide a third on the floor below. Display favorite dinnerware and keep serving pieces handy in the cubbies. Install the middle bookcase at counter height so it serves double-duty as a buffet station or bar.
Make your own mirror-covered furniture for a fraction of the cost of this glam home decor trend. Find a dresser, desk, or table with drawers from a thrift store, and freshen it up with a coat of paint. Have a hardware store cut mirrors that fit the drawer fronts and drill holes for hardware; then attach them with mirror glue. Tip: Pay extra for polished edges if kids will be using it.
Make a custom headboard. This contemporary patchwork-effect headboard is easy to make using scraps of coordinating fabrics. To build the base, cut 8-inch squares of stiff florist's foam, 1/4-inch plywood, and quilt batting. Glue the layers together with the quilt batting on top. Then cut fabric into squares large enough to wrap the foam boxes with at least a 1/2-inch overlap on the back.
Staple the fabric to the back of each square with a staple gun. To assemble the headboard, cut a piece of 1/4-inch plywood large enough for the finished headboard. Line up the boxes facedown in your desired pattern, and attach them to each other with heavy-duty tape. Top them with the plywood, and drill wood screws at 8-inch intervals to secure all the layers. Attach ring hooks to the back of the plywood to hang the headboard on the wall.
Finding artwork to make an impact on a large, empty wall can cost a fortune. Instead, make your own for a custom look and fit. Choose sheer curtain panels to coordinate with your room's decor. Paint large stripes on the wall slightly wider than the panels. Mount short curtain rods at the ceiling to hang the curtain panels in front of the stripes.
Transform a simple doorway into a pretty passage. Hang curtains in a standard doorway to add a soft, decorative touch to a room. For a sophisticated finish, top the curtains with a classic valance made from an architectural pediment. Paint the pediment and add wooden rope trim, if desired, for a traditional accent. Then screw hooks into the back of the valance to hang a tension rod for the panels, and screw the valance to the doorway molding.
Whip up a one-of-a-kind side table in a jiffy. Choose an oversize decorative serving tray -- pick up a trendy one from a home decor store or repurpose a vintage flea market find. With a dab of construction adhesive, glue the tray to the top of an adjustable-height stool for a handy table you can raise and lower.
Update a classic. A quality piece of wood furniture never goes out of style, but its finish and hardware do. Transform a dowdy, dark brown finish with glossy black paint and modern clear acrylic hardware.
Turn pretty place mats into supereasy photo frames. Simply glue or tape a photo to the center of each place mat, then use removable adhesive squares to hang the finished pieces. For a hip retro look, use classic vinyl records for frames.
Add storage and display space on a blank bathroom wall by converting an old dresser drawer into a decorative medicine cabinet. Cut a plywood shelf to fit inside and nail it in place. Paint the cabinet to match your room, and decorate the back with wallpaper or scrapbook paper, if desired (glue the paper in place before you secure the shelf). Screw eye hooks into the bottom and thread a painted dowel rod through for a towel bar.
Try this alternative to glue-on wallpaper. Use an oversize stencil to add pattern to your walls. Paint the stencil pattern from floor to ceiling for an overall wallpaper effect. Or stencil below a chair-rail or plate-rail height, or on just one accent wall. A mottled paint finish gives this damask stencil design more dimension and texture.
Transform a dresser with paint and wallpaper. Chic taupe paint and toile wallpaper highlight this dresser's traditional lines. Play with the position of the wallpaper until you're happy with the design, and then cut the paper to fit the drawer fronts. After painting the dresser, apply the wallpaper; protect it and the painted surfaces with an acrylic sealer.
Create a one-of-a-kind home accent. Save money and get a custom look by building a frame around a mirrored closet door bought at a home improvement store. Use a piece of paintable textured wallcovering for the inset panel above the mirror. Surround the mirror with decorative trim to complete the look.