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
Bring the colors and feel of summertime into your home with our best tips and tricks -- everything from rearranging furniture to the smells of the season.
Think of your home as a summer rental, and you'll see it in a whole new light. Throw open the doors and windows, pull back the curtains, and get rid of pieces that are dark, gloomy, or fussy. Stow away heavy accessories, throws, and any unnecessary small decor items until it's time to cozy up again for fall.
Consider buying a set of accent dishes to add a splash of summertime color and pattern to your next dinner party. Mix bright floral-, tropical-, or nautical-theme dishes with your everyday plates and bowls. To ramp up the summertime look even more, clear a small table to create an impromptu bar and arrange bottles and glassware on a pretty serving tray. Fun elements such as stir sticks and paper umbrellas create a look that is perfectly seasonal.
While a fireplace is a great focal point during any other time of year, consider rearranging your furniture away from that space during the summer. Rather than huddling around the hearth, shift the focus of the room toward a beautiful window or French doors. Stow away heavy draperies and hang gossamer sheers that flow with the breezes.
Summer is as much a state of mind as it is a season, so transform your spaces to embrace all the benefits it has to offer. Include a large umbrella for extra shade. String paper lanterns on tree branches around an outdoor patio to allow gatherings to last well into the night hours. Or, should the weather turn stormy, cozy up by lamplight on a covered porch. Since pleasant summer days sometimes fall few and far between, you'll want to take full advantage of the time you have to spend outside, rain or shine.
Give a tired chair or side table new life using high-gloss spray paint in a summery hue, such as sky blue or grassy green. The glossy paint creates a fun lacquered look and gives an old piece a fresh and modern edge. Make sure to properly prime the furniture so the paint better adheres to the surface and will wear longer.
Interject bright summery colors into your home with freshly picked flowers. To make the biggest impact, stick to arrangements featuring warm colors, such as bold oranges, radiant yellows, or vibrant pinks, and save rich reds and deep purples for other seasons. Small clusters of bright color look cheery and create an undeniable summertime vibe.
To keep the seasonal aesthetic constant in your home, make sure you switch out scents as the seasons change. Gingerbread and evergreen are great scents for winter months, but many people crave fresh smells during the summer, such as ocean breeze or cucumber-melon.