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

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DIY Patio Ideas

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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

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Deck Tour: Multilevel Deck with Graceful Curves

Visionary homeowners and a talented builder collaborate to create a curvaceous, one-of-a-kind deck.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • A Three-Level Dream Deck

      A magazine photograph introduced the homeowners to the work of a talented builder and served as the inspiration for this stunning deck near Portland, Oregon.

      The homeowners dreamed of an outdoor living area where they could entertain a crowd but also enjoy a private, serene soak in a hot tub. They wanted the new deck to follow the pronounced slope behind the house and project toward the lake

      The resulting deck features two main levels-one for dining and one for a hot tub-but also includes a third level between the two. The intermediate level, featuring a grill, wraps around the home's kitchen and breakfast nook on the far edge of the house. It sweeps even closer to the water than the deck's other two levels, allowing everyone a view of the lake when guests are over.

    • Seamless Details

      The sinuous, uninterrupted upper railing is 44 feet long. The builder chose clear Western red cedar, which boasts warm tones and a subtle grain. The use of clear wood was vital for both aesthetic and practical reasons: Knotty wood will break, not bend.

      Local codes required preserving a towering Douglas fir tree directly behind the house. The only option was to build the deck around the tree.

    • Integrated Rock

      In the quest to expand entertaining space on the deck, the builder literally hit a wall. The pronounced slope behind the house held a large solid rock outcropping.

      Rather than stop short of the rock, he butted the decking and steps against its irregular face, which served as a natural railing. This was a challenge. Each piece of decking and each curved step tread had to be cut precisely to the contour of the rock.

    • A Sweeping Lake View

      Gracefully curved, uninterrupted railings cap unobtrusive aluminum balusters to preserve the magnificent view of Lake Oswego.

    • Private Soaking Space

      A curved stairway offers easy access to the yard while keeping the hot tub out of view from below, ensuring privacy.

      The elliptical hot tub's weight dictated that it sit on the ground. It was built by spraying gunite over forms and finished with plaster and brick coping. Curved decking was built around it after installation.

      The hot tub's position and the use of thin-profile railing balusters allow bathers to absorb a breathtaking vista while enjoying a warm soak.

    • Thoughtful Storage

      Spaces underneath the deck, areas often neglected in elevated decks, conceal plumbing and filtration for the hot tub and provide storage.

      Hinged doors swing open to provide easy access to the spaces; when closed, the narrow wood slats complement the lines and color of the decking.

    • Built-in Bench

      The intermediate level includes a built-in bench with sweeping views of Lake Oswego.

      The builder painstakingly furnished the deck with built-in features, including seating, planters, lighting, and storage. Instead of appearing plopped down or tacked on, these items enhance the deck with their design.

    • Graceful Transitions

      French doors provide access to the upper level of the deck, and a trio of broad, curved steps leads down to the intermediate level.

    • Curved Details Throughout

      A series of undulating curves unifies the deck's three levels as they descend the slope. The curves found on the edge of the deck and its railing are replicated in the steps and benches.

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      Bending Wood

      This deck's curves are even more impressive when you understand how they were made. The builder used clear Western red cedar that was still green and therefore still pliable. But even green wood will only bend so far before it breaks. To achieve the tight curves, boards were ripped into thin strips, bent to a form, and then laminated back together, requiring a multitude of clamps while the glue dried.

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      A Curvaceous, One-of-a-Kind Deck

      The deck is well-integrated with the property, accommodating features such as trees and rock walls. The result is a subtle, elegant blending of the deck with its environment, as well as efficient use of available space.

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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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