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
Using a single length of lumber for each, here are five easy projects sure to make waves in your space. Brush up on your woodworking skills (these projects are all entry-level and use simple tools) and get building.
This handsome hall tree serves as a handy spot for hanging hats, coats, and other outdoor gear. Start with a 7-foot, 1x12-inch walnut board. Draw a rounded notch pattern as shown here and enlarge to desired size, then transfer the pattern to the board so four cutouts are staggered along each edge.
Cut out notches using a jigsaw. Save three of the cutout pieces to use as hooks on the front of the board. Secure the hooks with wood glue and a 2 1/2-inch screw through the back of the board. Finish the pieces with a coat of clear polyurethane.
To make this hip shelf unit, cut three 9x14-inch shelves from the end of a 10-foot-long, 1x11-inch board. Cut three evenly spaced 9x14-inch notches along the top edge of the remainder using a jigsaw. This piece will hang on the wall.
Use wood glue and 1 1/2-inch screws to secure each shelf to the wall unit so the top is flush with the bottom edge of each notch. Drive three screws through the back of the unit into each shelf. Finish the shelves and wall piece with black stain. Hang from heavy-duty wall cleats.
These rustic bud-vase holders are composed of salvaged boards notched to fit together. Each holder accommodates a cylindrical bud vase. When sizing the notches for the vases, add 1/8-inch to the diameter measurement so you can easily slip the vase into the notch.
This fancy mirror frame begins as an 18-foot-long, 1x6-inch cypress board. Cut it into eight lengths that measure a 26 1/2-42-inch rectangle when glued and clamped together. For varying grains, flip some boards over before you glue. After the glue sets, draw your frame pattern on one side of the rectangle and cut out the design with a jigsaw. When cutting out the center, drill a starter hole and insert the jigsaw blade. Smooth the edges with sandpaper. Finish with a coat of clear polyurethane. Use mirror clips to secure a mirror.
Create this bench from a piece of mahogany or other wood species you love. Size the bench to fit your space, or duplicate our dimensions. Start with a 6 1/2-foot, 1x12-inch board and using a table or miter saw, cut a 44-inch top and two 14 1/2-inch legs. Secure the sides to the seat by installing a 2x2-inch cleat below the bench top where each leg intersects.
To put a "smile" on the bench's face, print letters on your computer and tape them to the bench surface. With a small bit, drill through the paper to make shallow, evenly spaced holes outlining each letter. Protect your final project with a coat of clear polyurethane.