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

13 Tips to Make Your Deck More Private

Turn your deck into a private, relaxing retreat with these simple tips.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Use Your House

      Look at the lines of your home -- it might give you the perfect spot to place a deck (and make mowing or other yard maintenance chores easier to boot). Extending the roofline of this home over the deck helps the area look as if it's always been part of the landscape.

    • Add a Great Wall

      A privacy fence is one of the most common ways to block a view. Here, a simple fence caps off a backyard retreat, providing a perfect, secluded gathering space. A series of container gardens soften the deck, making it even more inviting.

    • Incorporate a Tree

      Instead of clearing the ground when you add a deck, take advantage of what's already there. An old tree isn't just a great element of the yard -- it gives the deck more privacy by creating a soft, natural canopy, too. Lush plantings around the edge of the deck also help it feel softer and more secluded.

    • Add a Roof

      A pergola can do triple duty for your deck. Beyond helping your space feel cozier, a pergola creates shade and adds interest -- especially if you enhance it with hanging baskets, planters, or light fixtures.

    • How to Plant Hanging Baskets

      Planting your own hanging baskets is a simple way to save money and add exterior color.

    • Add the Sound of Water

      Background noise from a busy street can be just as annoying as seeing your neighbor's weedy back yard. Solve this kind of problem by adding a fountain or other water feature to your deck. Even a gentle trickle of water can make a big difference in how much you enjoy your time outdoors!

    • Utilize Evergreens

      Evergreen trees are first-rate picks for creating privacy. They block any view and offer a lush, green backdrop. Plus, dense evergreens help filter noise. There's an evergreen for almost every garden; they come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes -- including columnar types that grow no more than 2 feet across.

    • Create the Lush Look

      Gardeners in warm-winter climates know how tropical plants can create almost instant privacy. Even gardeners in the North can enjoy these fast-growing, big-leaf plants: Grow them as houseplants and move them in and out each season, or treat them as exotic annuals.

    • Build a Trellis

      Amp up the privacy offered by a pergola with the addition of a trellis. Even though this trellis doesn't completely block the view beyond, it provides enough protection to make the deck more enjoyable. Plant vines along the deck line and watch as they wind their way up the trellis over the seasons.

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      Create a Canopy

      A traditional awning offers protection from the blazing summer sun -- as well as from the neighbors' second-floor windows. Awnings come in a range of styles and options, including retractable types that you can use whenever you want.

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      Split the View

      If blocking the view of your entire deck isn't possible, then work on a section of it. Here, a beautiful garden of shrubbery and grasses creates a beautiful focal point that draws your eye away from the more-visible deck areas behind it. Planting the garden so close to the stairs also helps the deck feel more intimate and secluded.

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      Embrace Vines

      Vines are the ultimate plant for providing privacy. Here, a hearty vine forms a lush roof over this tiny deck. It also provides an extra privacy "wall" as it scrambles up the support posts and pergola.

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      Plant Trees

      A few small trees dotted around the edge of your deck create a soft, leafy curtain without taking up too much space in the yard. Add drama and interest by selecting different types of trees. Small maples (such as Amur maple), for example, provide bold fall colors, while crabapples offer springtime blooms.

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      Add a Touch of Fabric

      Check out the wide variety of outdoor-friendly fabrics to create a perfect little privacy screen. Sheets of fabric sewn like curtains and hung from curtain rods or wire are quick and easy to put together. Plus, they're inexpensive -- so you can create a couple of different options to fit your mood.

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      Next Slideshow Dream Decks

      Dream Decks

      Transform your deck into a relaxing and restful retreat. Gather the ideas and inspiration you need to get your project started from these beautiful decks.
      Begin Slideshow »



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