Mantel Styling Tips

We challenged bloggers to style a mantel in 30 seconds. See what they did and get their smart tips for decorating a mantel.

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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.

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Planning a Mudroom

Use these tips to organize a mudroom to accommodate how your family lives.

8 Tips for Effective Entryway Storage

When planning a mudroom, think about how your family lives, and design a space to fit those needs. The most common spot for a mudroom is just inside the garage or a back entry. But the best place for a mudroom is where your family most commonly enters and leaves the house. 


1. Make it work.
If you're remodeling, a mudroom does not have to be a single room; it can be a cluster of hardworking spaces. An adjacent pantry, laundry room, and/or closet for brooms, mops, vacuums, and cleaning supplies will create a center for household management.

2. Take inventory.
List the things your family takes in and out of the house every day, and then outfit the space accordingly. Include a cabinet, cubby, locker, or set of hooks for each family member. Additional cabinets for miscellaneous items come in handy too.

3. Get organized. 

Include a message center or even a desk area. Save space with a cabinet that combines a chalkboard on the front and a bulletin board inside. You'll have a convenient communication hub and get all those flyers off the refrigerator.

5. Focus on durability.
Stone or tile floors and laminate cabinets will look good after years of exposure to wet raincoats and muddy boots.

6. Remember your friends.
Include a few extra hooks for your friends' coats and bags. Add a bench as a comfortable perch for putting on and taking off shoes.

7. Plan for pets.
Hooks for leashes and baskets for toys will come in handy. A boot wash can double as a bathing spot for Fido.

8. Think Seasonally

You won't want to have to dig past boots and scarves to get to flip-flops and water wings when the pool is calling your name in the summer months. Make a plan to transition your mudroom for the season and stow away off-season gear in another location. 

Cool Project: Make an Entry Organizer


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