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
A modest budget need not cramp your style. Cash in on pennywise storage ideas and clever DIY projects to craft a bedroom that's all about you.
Talk about chic on the cheap: We made this heart pillow from 22 yards of 3/4-inch blue grosgrain ribbon. Simply sew a single running stitch near one edge, then pull the thread to ruffle the ribbon. Piece lengths of ribbon together as needed. Hand-stitch in a heart shape to a circle of felt, working your way from the outside in, securing concentric heart shapes inside one another until filled in. Randomly stitch or hot-glue sparkly beads and crystals to the ribbon. Sew the finished heart piece into a pillow using a 2-inch boxing strip and piping.
For a big style statement without dropping big bucks, we used a saber saw to cut a curvaceous headboard from a piece of 5x8-foot medium-density fiberboard (MDF), painted the edge white, then wallpapered it with a large-scale, eye-popping pattern.
DIY Tip: This headboard hangs on the wall thanks to a 2x3-inch wood cleat along the back.
The wicker vanity is a thrift shop score; a quick coat of white paint is a cost-conscious redo. For additional creative storage, we repurposed a metal bread box to hold hair essentials. To soften the seat of this flea market chair, we snatched two cotton napkins from a clearance table and sewed them together, tufting with perle cotton and adding grosgrain ties to keep the cushion in place. A layer of quilt batting between the napkins makes the seat comfy.
We raided the dollar store and Grandma's kitchen for various tins and pans to tidy the vanity drawer.
Because easy access makes the morning routine quicker, we fashioned these wall pockets by cutting wooden bowls in half and mounting them on a painted board.
An easy-sew fabric pouch keeps makeup brushes organized. Start with a fabric remnant 11x25 inches. Fold in half crosswise with right sides together; stitch all raw edges using 1/2-inch seams, leaving an opening for turning. Trim corners, then turn right side out and hand-stitch opening closed. Turn up folded edge 5 inches. Mark eight 1 1/4-inch pockets and channel quilt on marks through all layers. Topstitch close to outside edges, sandwiching a 24-inch folded piece of ribbon in one side seam.
For artwork on a dime, paint an old wooden picture frame, cut mat or foam-core board to fit the opening, and cover the board with a scrap of pretty fabric.
A coat of leftover paint and wallpaper scraps revived this dresser for a few dollars. Though the garage sale clock didn't function, we snatched it up anyway for its petite size and pretty details, and then transformed it into a picture frame by removing the clock parts and inserting a photo taped to scrapbook paper. On the drawer fronts, we opted for a subtle wallpaper pattern, but choose a colorful stripe or large floral if your prefer.