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
If utter chaos greets you at the door, stop the insanity with a mudroom designed to restore order for families constantly on the go.
As far as hardworking spaces go, it's hard to beat a mudroom when it comes to performance per square foot. For laundry, ironing, memos, and mail, this room makes every inch count. There's a utility sink for cleaning muddy shoes, and storage cabinets and cubbies appear at every turn. A stacked, energy-efficient washer and dryer save on space and utility bills.
This space-savvy wall cabinet conceals a nice-size, drop-down ironing board. Tip: To ease ironing chores, run an electrical outlet behind the cabinet and access by cutting through the cabinet back
A large memo board holds notes, schedules, to-do lists, and kid's artwork. To make the board, a sheet of galvanized metal was cut by a metal fabricator to fit the front of the narrow cabinet that stows a drop-down ironing board. This make-it-yourself calendar is fashioned from scrapbooking paper that flaunts a fun shape, preprinted calendar, and stitching. Just stamp or write the months and days, then punch two holes in the top, string with ribbon or twine, and hang.
We moved this wall 3 feet into the garage to claim more space for this formerly cramped back entry. Custom locker units fit perfectly into the bumped-out space. A modern leaf-pattern wallpaper adds designer style and sets the lively color scheme in motion. Baskets above and drawers below alternate holding seasonal items, and the deep bench is a handy drop zone or convenient place to sit when slipping on or off shoes. A smart choice underfoot, the slatelike ceramic floor tile is durable and easy to clean.
Full-extension drawer glides on these trays make shoes easy to reach -- even those tucked way back.
To make the most of this odd vertical opening, the space was trimmed out and divided with four adjustable shelves and a small cabinet at the bottom. Now the space multitasks as a mail station, cat commode, and general catchall for frequent-use items. On the adjacent wall, stock cabinets accommodate a built-in hamper and provide oodles of storage for detergents, towels, ironing supplies, pet products, and more. To learn how to make the ruler growth chart, see the next slide.
Derived from a vintage measuring tape, this growth chart is easy to make. Download and print the pages from justsomethingimade.com on ink-jet canvas paper, following blogger Cathe Holden's directions. Make name labels by stamping canvas strips with kids' names. Cut felt pieces a little larger than the canvas strips, then glue both pieces to a hair clip. Tip: Be sure printer settings aren't set to "scale item to fit page."
Though this space handles a grown-up workload, kids and furry friends are not forgotten. Hide a litter box out of sight inside a cabinet. Franklin the cat slips easily in and out of an opening cut in the cabinet door.
Mail slots -- one for each member of the family -- hold magazines, homework, bills, and more. Use a router to make grooves in shelves, then insert vertical dividers. A compact charging station keeps phones and cameras charged and ready to go. An electrical outlet is installed in the wall nearby.
Create an organized entryway with a bookcase. Watch and see how.