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
Storage never looked so good! The secret: multi-tasking tables that can contain your living room or family room clutter -- in style.
Step outside of the furniture store for good-looking table substitutes. Rolling taborets, commonly used for office supplies, function as modern side tables (one of those drawers would be a great spot for all those electronic remotes), while a wicker trunk does double duty as a coffee table and storage spot for blankets and extra pillows.
Triple-up function with king of multi-tasking: the storage ottoman. It's a table, it's a seat, and it's a storage bonanza— great place to stash files, writing materials, and extra pillows and throws. Place two ottomans side by side for an instant coffee table, or slip them under a sofa console—out of the way until needed.
A sofa console table can corral layers of clutter. The top surface holds a few decorative accents and a table lamp while a shelf below provides enough space for a small library of favorite reading material. Underneath, textured bins keep other comfort items, such as throws, pillows, and shawls, tidy until needed.
If your home lacks an entry closet or foyer, place a small shelving unit against the wall of your living or family room, cover it with a pretty divided skirt and top with piece of glass for easy cleaning. The hidden storage space can conceal shoes, boots, games, and baskets for hats, gloves, and scarves.
Multifunction furnishings cater to a family room that plays and works hard. Just behind the sofa, an attractive apothecary cabinet provides generous storage for board games, school or craft supplies, and books. The surface holds a table lamp and reading materials. Anchoring the large sectional, a coffee table discreetly multitasks as a snack counter and blanket bin.
This high-functioning coffee table features a work surface that lifts to tray height and slides to reveal supply compartments. The deep drawers underneath can hold hanging files or keep extra pillows and blankets tidy. Closed, the generous tabletop is ideal for gathering around a board game.
Revamp a basic console table to organize—or simply hide away—all the stuff that piles up in your family room. Create a charging station in a shallow drawer. Hide cords behind a drawer insert and line the drawer with rubberized paper for a nonslip surface. Set up a mini library of reference material on top of the table and stow a couple of storage ottomans underneath.
Family fun night is mere seconds away when you stash board games in a coffee table's broad drawers. This space is also ideal for table linens or a collection of favorite prints.
An old storage chest adds a vintage flavor to this charming room. It also adds ample storage within its generous dimensions. Nearby, a console table supports lighting and an artful display while housing a large ottoman underneath that stands ready to double as instant seating or a convenient side table on which to set a tray.
This family room celebrates a love of woven baskets that double as tables and storage solutions. Under the window, a pair of large lidded baskets provides spacious interiors for storage while the lids offer a sturdy surface for an accent lamp, books, and other decorative items. Smaller baskets corral things on the bottom shelf of the coffee table, while a woven cube keeps stuff handy next to a chair. The top of the coffee table also becomes a scrapbook with changeable photos and postcards laid on handmade paper under a layer of glass.
Magazines do have a way of piling up and their slick covers can make stacking a challenge. Solve your problem with a shallow-drawer side table that holds your periodicals in style. Divide the drawers with office supply paper trays for magazines or leave them undivided for newspapers and photo albums. Stencil content labels on the drawer fronts in pretty fonts.
Nesting tables are perfect for squeezing a lot of storage out of minimum space. Pull out the lower table when you need an extra surface for holding drinks or reading material, then tuck it away when you're done. Here, a stylish fabric-covered bin keeps DVDs accessible but contained while a pretty contrasting divided box on the larger table corrals remotes and other necessities on a lazy Susan.
If you need storage but your accent tables don't provide the drawer or shelf space you want, get creative with a table runner. Sew on a pretty fabric pocket that hangs over the side of the table to keep handy a few necessities such as a notebook and remote. For a no-sew option, attach the pocket with fusible seam tape or fabric glue.
Keep your high-tech devices and low-tech reading materials neat and organized with this modified basic bookshelf. Outfitted as an entertainment center, simple ideas make the most of the available storage space. Metal office supply bins attach to the outside and inside of shelving to contain cords, gaming equipment, and remotes. Covered boxes tidy up stacks of media, and a cafe curtain stretches across lower shelving to hide components and cables.