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
Window seats offer visual appeal and unique storage options.
While a recent remodel offered the opportunity to improve the function of this older bathroom, preserving its early 20th-century style was the top priority. Here, the smart solution comes in the form of a pretty beaded-board window bench that echoes the original character of the vintage bath with the added bonus of bountiful storage. Centrally located, the window seat's deep drawers conveniently place towels and toiletries within arm's reach of the sink and tub. A cushy slipcovered top adds a dash of color.
The challenge: Corral clutter in a busy playroom or living room without skimping on style. The solution: a pair of curvy, cushioned window seats that combine crucial storage with relaxed comfort. Installed on either side of a built-in game cabinet (a pullout tray can hold snacks and drinks), the roomy seats feature deep drawers that fully extend to reveal a treasure trove of puzzles, games, books, and toys accessible to every member of the family. Graceful lines subtly soften the look of the large units, and plush cushions and plump pillows create comfy places for reading, relaxing, or snuggling.
Occasionally, an architectural feature that works well in one area of the home poses a problem in another. For example, the soaring ceiling that creates a dramatic first impression in the entryway of this spacious home left the large central staircase with a cold, cavernous feel. Here, a wide window seat on the landing anchors the voluminous space and creates an appealing transition zone between the first and second floors. Custom trim and stained beaded-board detailing found elsewhere in the home link the landing to upper and lower halls.
Designed as a retreat within a retreat, a built-in window bench placed in the recessed niche of an elegant master bedroom adds sumptuous seating and forms the room's primary architectural focal point. Set into a classically styled archway, the inviting window seat owes its generous proportions to an impressive bay window that sweeps 8 feet up to a molded plaster ceiling.