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

Deck & Patio Solutions: Working Around Landscape Challenges

Whether a tree is threatening your deck plans or you're looking for creative uses for your backyard's large stones, these landscape design ideas can help.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Tree Focal Point

      A large tree didn't deter plans for this backyard patio--the homeowners simply designed around it, making it a key element. The low stone wall around the tree doubles as seating. The flagstone floor is set in sand over landscaping fabric that inhibits weeds but lets moisture reach the tree's roots.

    • Tree Provides Deck Shade

      This expansive deck, a popular gathering spot for enjoying coffee or sunset drinks, is built around a large tree that offers generous amounts of shade.

    • L-Shape Bench

      A deck and L-shape bench accommodate an established fir tree. The bench contributes to the structure's clean, angular sensibility.

    • Back Deck

      This path, to a two-level deck with brick-and-stucco planters, gently wraps around a tree that provides dappled shade.

    • Spa Area

      The decking around a hot tub also surrounds a 50-year-old tree, preserving a natural element in the landscape.

    • Natural-Look Steps

      These steps are built between rocks. They are supported by square tubular steel and angle irons welded together and painted black to disappear into the shadows. This technique makes the stairs appear to be supported only by the rocks.

    • Deck Design

      In order to preserve the broad natural shade of a favorite pine tree, the tree was incorporated into the deck's design.

    • Peaceful Outdoor Area

      Floating over a koi pond and surrounded by natural elements, this deck offers a calm place for conversation and dining.

    • Spiraling Stone Wall

      Straight-line brick paths and a curved flagstone wall accommodate a mature tree and colorful plantings. The stone wall spirals into a small water feature (only 18 inches in diameter) and adds seating.

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      Deck and Pool Area

      This deck, adjacent to a pool, was constructed to allow an old tree to sprawl over it, adding shade and character to the outdoor living space.

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      Stone Feature

      Stones jutting from this deck add personality and further a rock garden design found throughout the rest of the space.

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      Build Around a Tree

      Rather than removing an established tree, this terraced deck frames and enhances the space's nature-inspired serenity.

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      Wheelchair-Accessible Deck

      Low, intersecting ramps on this wheelchair-accessible deck provide shallow inclines, resting points, and space to integrate garden foliage and breathtaking trees into the design.

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      Douglas Fir Tree

      Local codes required preserving this mature Douglas fir tree, so the deck builder constructed this one-of-a-kind space that does just that.

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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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