Upgrade a Basic Bookcase

Put a personal spin on an off-the-shelf bookcase with these easy DIY makeover ideas.

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Pretty and Practical Garden Bench Ideas

A garden bench is a useful, versatile, and beautiful addition to nearly every type of landscape. Here's how to integrate a bench into your outdoor space for seating, storage, serving, and more.

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Outdoor Oasis Quiz

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

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TV Armoire Makeover

Your old tube TV may have gone to the curb, but that bulky armoire it used to sit in still has plenty of road miles. Here's how to give the old piece of furniture new life.

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DIY Outdoor and Garden Projects

Sprucing up your outdoor space doesn't need to be a massive undertaking. Use these inspirational small projects -- including painting rocks to hanging new house numbers -- to instantly improve the look of a garden, patio, deck, or backyard.

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No-Fail Curb Appeal Updates (On a Budget)

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

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Popular in Home Improvement

Home Design Trends

Our homes are expressions of our needs, personalities, and lifestyles. Browse pictures of popular home design trends to find ideas for rooms, storage, technology, materials, layout, and more.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Kitchens: The Hub of the Home

      Today's kitchens are where people congregate. Spacious kitchen islands, banquettes, better technology, and integrated offices give families space to hang out, work, and dine in one central space.

      As the kitchen has evolved into a type of living room, islands have become a popular feature because of their versatility. They can serve as the primary work space, a secondary work space, extra storage, or a spot for multiple cooks to spread out.

    • Casual Dining

      When not used for meals, a well-lit and comfortable breakfast area can easily double as a place for homework or leisurly reading. Banquettes are an excellent way to stretch kitchen space because the seating pushes right up to the wall. They also maximize kitchen storage by providing extra space beneath the seating areas.

    • Home for Entertainment

      Single-family homes are getting smaller, with fewer formal rooms and more casual living spaces for the whole family to enjoy.
      Whether in a living room, great room, or basement, a well-appointed gathering place with comfortable furniture, technology, and entertainment is a must-have in today's homes.

    • Open, Connected Floor Plans

      The walls have come down. New construction features comfortable open living spaces with several functions to meet the needs of all family members. Furniture, built-ins, and multiple entry points are easy ways to designate activity zones in combination rooms and make the space feel open and inviting.

    • Spa-Like Bathroom Features

      Bathrooms are no longer strictly functional spaces; today, they are luxurious and relaxing retreats. New bathroom designs separate the tub and shower spaces. Popular bathroom improvements include adding multiple showerheads, creating a dedicated grooming area, and installing heated flooring.

      How to install radiant heat flooring.

    • Designer Tips: Luxe Bathrooms

      Renovating a bathroom? See how to take high-end inspiration and turn it into real-life solutions with these designer secrets.

    • Universal Design Elements

      Comfortable design and accessibility for people of all ages and abilities is on the rise in home design. Single-story dwellings, wide hallways and doorways, flexible floor plans, pull-out storage, and simple add-ons -- such as grab bars, D-shape hardware, or task lighting -- make it easy for homeowners to age in their abode without sacrificing style or independence.

      This single-lever faucet can be operated with either an open hand or a fist, making it manageable for people of all ages and abilities. A wall-mount sink conserves space and provides access for wheelchairs.

    • Hardwood Flooring

      Homeowners can choose from a variety of hues or grain patterns, and wood lasts for more than a century. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is recycled from sources such as old homes and barns and has a worn, rustic look. Eco-friendly alternatives, such as bamboo and cork, are also gaining in popularity.

    • Multifunctional Rooms

      Making every inch count is a popular philosophy in new homes. Practical ideas throughout the home include creating intimate pocket spaces from nooks and alcoves, putting transition spaces to work with built-ins, outfitting home offices, and investing in main-level laundry rooms with storage for art or hobby supplies.

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      Better Outdoor Living

      Indoor porches, patios, and decks inspired by interior design principles are replacing the traditional backyard. Homeowners want outdoor kitchens, living rooms, and gardens to relax, entertain, and dine in style. The best arrangement places the outdoor kitchen and dining area close to the indoor kitchen. Not only is this convenient for outdoor gatherings, but it also helps homeowners feel connected to the outdoors when inside.

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      Dedicated Drop Zone

      By-the-door storage makes it easy to catch clutter the moment it enters your home. Even slim hallways can accommodate a bevy of small solutions just inside the door to gather everyday essentials.

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      Healthy Homes

      Health and the environment matters to homeowners, and they're using more low- and no-VOC paint, eco-friendly materials, and energy-efficient appliances.

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      Smarter Storage

      Scaled-back square footage calls for savvier storage options. Previously overlooked spaces are being tapped into for extra stowaway space, including stairways, window seats, and walls.

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      Home Offices

      As more and more people work remotely, home offices -- whether located in a dedicated room or a pass-through space -- are a desired feature in new homes. Many new kitchens include small work spaces with built-in cabinets to corral printers, file boxes, and tech accessories within one central location.

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      Focus on Technology

      A home that is easy to retrofit for technology is a priority among consumers, and especially millenials. Energy-efficient washers and dryers, home security systems, and thermostats are top-ranking digital essentials for new home buyers, according to a spring 2013 Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey.

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      Energy Efficiency

      Homeowners concerned about their heating and cooling bills are paying more attention to their windows. They want windows that perform consistently under always-changing conditions, are easy to maintain, block harmful UV rays, and enhance home design. Builders and designers recommend Energy Star-rated windows that feature multiple panes, low-E glass, inert gas between panes, and frames with warm-edge spacers.

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      Bigger Isn't Better

      Today's consumers consider the importance of lifestyle and community over their perfect home, says a 2013 survey from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. Most new home buyers are willing to sacrifice square footage to live in a better neighborhood with easy access to amenities such as schools and entertainment.

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      Curb Appeal

      An eye-catching exterior is one of the hottest home improvement trends, and it's a feasible update for both new and old homes. A front yard garden, fresh exterior color, updated hardware, or a new garage door can work wonders for your home's facade.

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      Next Slideshow Small House Plans

      Small House Plans

      These homes may be small, but what they lack in size they make up for in character. Explore these 20 small house plans and home designs that consist of small cottages, bungalows, country houses, ranch houses, and more.
      Begin Slideshow »

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