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
Kick up the heat on your home's style with bright stencil projects that import the feel of the islands.
Enliven a plain metal or wooden chair with bold hibiscus blooms. Choose flat-finish latex paint the color of ruby-red grapefruit to fill in the stencils. Apply the paint in a pouncing motion using a flat-bristle stencil brush or a foam brush. When dry, spray on two coat of clear polyurethane to protect your handiwork.
Give a cabinet personality with a facade of large tropical fronds. Stenciled on an artist's canvas from the crafts store, the fronds are rendered in three green hues. Stencil one leaf color, let it dry, then reposition the stencil, slightly overlapping the first to add another color. Turn the canvas into a door by screwing on hinges and a painted wooden knob.
Work out color combos on a sample board to make sure you like the palette before you paint your final project. Here, a sample board tests out slightly overlapping the leaves which results in layers that create a jungle effect.
Look for ways to add quick style to your favorite flea market finds, such as this plant stand. A stamp designed for a decorative border helps transition it into a tiki hut-style refreshment server. Paint the stand a soft gold hue using flat latex paint. Then use a small paint roller to load a stamp with ivory paint.
Welcome guests to your table with a pineapple motif--a universal sign of hospitality. In a reverse stencil technique, paint the table ivory using flat latex paint. Then cut the pineapple pattern from adhesive shelf paper and stick it on. For graphic pop, place the pineapple off center and let it bleed past the table edges. Paint the table again using an orange hue. When dry, peel off the shelf paper and reveal the pineapple.
Play chameleon behind a screen painted to look like your board shorts. Paint the panels ivory, then stick on irregular circles cut from adhesive shelf paper. Splash on a juicy watermelon hue, let dry, then peel off the circles.
For small-scale projects, such as cards, T-shirts, or artwork, stencil paint sprays can't be beat. Tape off your stencil to prevent paint bleeds, then simply spray over your stencil.
Use a stencil brush and a pouncing motion--perfect for intricate designs and blending colors--to paint small to medium-size stencils.