Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

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Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

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Find Your Dream Backyard

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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DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

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Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

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8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

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Budget Curb Appeal

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

20 Ways to Upgrade Your Deck

Is your deck looking drained and dull? Give it a refreshing boost with these easy updates.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Clean, Repair, and Stain It

      Before you add anything to your deck, you must first create a solid foundation. Even well-planned cosmetic changes can't hide a deck in disrepair or dirty, grimy boards. Set time each year to clean and restain your deck flooring to ensure it stands up better against the elements.

    • Sit and Store

      Just like window seats inside your home, built-in benches on the deck can be made to offer ample storage space below for outdoor games and decor. Cover the top of the benches with comfy cushions upholstered in fabrics that will stand up to the elements. Comfy outdoor throw pillows add another level of comfort and style.

    • Cover Up

      A wooden pergola dressed in panels of outdoor fabric allows entertaining even when the weather isn't perfect. For a more sturdy covering that can stand up to heavy rainfall, consider purchasing a custom roof frame outfitted with clear polycarbonate panels.

    • Wrap Around

      A railing, gate, or other entry feature can turn your deck into a safe, cozy enclosure. Plus, the railing provides a platform for fitted planters, birdbaths or bird feeders, or other garden ornaments. Top your railing with a ledge so it can double as a spot to set drinks.

    • Blend in Comfort

      Guests and family members appreciate places to sit, and built-in benches can be made to look like original parts of the deck. Whether the benches are freestanding or attached, make them blend in by building them from the same materials used for the deck itself.

    • Natural Colors

      Whether bursting with flowers or foliage, plants are the perfect way to enliven a space and soften a deck's edges. If you have a wooden deck, hang the pots or place them on brick or other supports so they're not in direct contact with the floor when you water the plants -- that can lead to wood rot.

    • Rev Up Railings

      Railings can do more than enhance the safety and appearance of your deck -- they can also make a style statement. Decorative spindles and ball tops are among the many specialty products available to embellish railings.

    • Grow a Feast

      If you gave up your garden to build or expand your deck, grow veggies in containers on your deck for an eclectic look and homegrown food for dinner. Start off easy with tomatoes, beans, peas, and carrots. Put the containers on rolling supports so you can move them around easily.

    • Reach for the Sky

      Add tall, evenly spaced posts around the perimeter of your deck and connect them with glass panels to block wind while retaining stunning views. For a more rustic look, use wooden posts and connect them with tree limbs.

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      Bring the Inside Out

      Extend your living space onto your deck and enjoy easy entertaining throughout the warmer months. Use furnishings and fixtures to create distinct zones for grilling, dining, and lounging.

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      Build an Addition

      An attached gazebo can serve as a wonderful entertaining space when outfitted with comfy seating and lighting. Other structures, such as greenhouses, can also serve as convenient getaway spots while still fulfilling their designated purposes.

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      Wire for Sound

      A weatherproof outdoor sound system is a party-ready finishing touch for any deck. Hung up and out of the way, these speakers decrease unwanted foot traffic on this small deck and create the perfect party atmosphere throughout the warmer months.

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      Furnished with Style

      Before you purchase any outdoor furniture, make sure you consider all of the choices available. Furnishings made of hardy woods, aluminum, steel, and recycled plastics are some of the most common options available today. Include an outdoor rug and a fire pit to create a warm and inviting gathering space.

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      Spring for Upgrades

      Give your deck a big style update by replacing tired wooden rail spindles with wrought-iron ones. If you live in a wetter climate, you might also want to consider switching out standard wooden deck boards for rot-resistant composite planks that will increase the staying power of your entire deck.

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      Make a Splash

      Transform your deck into a luxurious oasis with the addition of a hot tub. Designate a corner or add on to the deck to accommodate the tub. To increase privacy, surround the hot tub with tall plants, mature trees, or even an add-on such as a screened gazebo.

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      Polish the Edges

      Add skirtboards or trellis material around the perimeter of your deck between its surface and the ground. The detail lends a finished look to the project and will allow the space below the deck to function as handy storage.

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      Room for More

      Turn your deck into a style statement all on its own by adding a curved edge for visual interest. Extending your deck in one or several directions or adding multiple levels also increases style and function.

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      Eating Out

      Create an outdoor kitchen, complete with grill, sink, undercounter refrigerator, wine cooler, and eating area. Have money left over? Add a tiki bar to create a fun party atmosphere.

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      Light It Up

      Solar or low-voltage post-top lights create ambience when your dinner guests linger during a summer evening. If your deck features multiple levels, you might also consider adding small lights on each step to prevent falls after the sun goes down.

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      Hold Still

      Tucked into your deck flora, statuaries can be tasteful and even mysterious. This sculpture adds classic elegance and functions as a great conversation starter while entertaining.

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      Next Slideshow 12 Ways to Outfit a Small Deck

      12 Ways to Outfit a Small Deck

      Bring big style to a small deck or patio with these simple, space-savvy accessories and decorating ideas.
      Begin Slideshow »



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