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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Cottage-Style Home Ideas

Cozy and welcoming, cottage-style homes lend themselves to a wide range of pretty and practical front landscape ideas.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Choose Traditional Cottage-Style Accents

      Little details make the difference on enhancing curb appeal for cottage-style homes. Here, that starts with the favorite -- a picket fence -- painted white to accent the home's creamy neutral color. Time-worn bricks keep the walkway casual, as do the simple front porch railing and rocking chairs.

    • Soften a Home's Edges

      An equal mix of traditional-style house and quaint cottage, this classic home benefits from a restrained front yard landscape that accents its powerful symmetry. Matching window boxes soften the low hedge border, while the inset pavers add a more casual element to the otherwise staid palette and details.

    • Transition Between Public and Private

      A simple pattern can give a relaxed feel to details in a cottage-style landscape and front yard. Here, a subtle insert on the front gate, as well as a hanging basket and flanking containers, adds welcome charm. A front yard fence, such as this, can also help to establish a boundary between slightly different styles of landscaping -- more restraint facing the sidewalk, more personality-driven behind the fence.

    • Emphasize the Details in Outdoor Living Spaces

      A screened-in porch can be one of the signature details of a cottage-style home, and the extra details on this space make it all the more charming. Those include cross-hatch mullions on the lower section as well as a cheery red door, a definite color contrast to the pastel exterior. A pretty, patterned walkway also keeps the vibe casual and welcoming.

    • Choose a Trio of Colors

      Depending on its location, a cottage-style home may have influencing aesthetics that help determine some of its details. Here, the beachside location offers a design helping hand. The homeowners chose to dress up the beach wall with details that mimic the home -- white walls and an orange-red brick accent piece. Black shutters and window shades help to ground the white palette, while green house numbers add a just-right touch of color.

    • Capitalize on Disadvantages

      Equal parts Victorian and cottage style, this pretty house uses its miniscule front yard to its advantage. For starters, it creates a definite boundary between public and private spaces with a low wall, which still allows for interaction with street-side life. Two benches and tall containers play up the home’s symmetry, while the light blue-focused palette helps the home feel much lighter than its two-story facade would suggest.

    • Break Up Your Home's Facade

      An exuberant display of flowers combined with the shake shingles of this pretty home help to play up its cottage-style coziness. Trellises are one way to break up very tall elements -- here, the height from sidewalk to roof trim. The homeowners also stuck to single plantings in key spots -- lilies at the fence line, roses against the home -- for a more uniform appearance.

    • Use Scale to Your Advantage

      Remember to keep proportion in mind when designing a cottage-worthy front landscape. Towering evergreens may dwarf a small footprint, but mid-height versions that add sculptural interest help to define a landscape. If you lack a front porch, a front yard may also be an appropriate place for a seating spot and a welcome way to interact with the street life of a neighborhood.

    • Play Up Distinctive Details

      Two styles of cedar shingles add texture, pattern, and color to this cottage home. A wide landscape bed on each side of the front walk takes focus on the otherwise uninterrupted stretch of front lawn, while chunky window trim and curved supports and columns add heft to the design.

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      Play Up a Cottage Style Garden

      Many cottage-style homes are defined by their cottage-style landscapes, which here equals a casual, overflowing collection of colors and blooms. Adding definition to the flower bed can help it from looking too out-of-control, and this delicately detailed fence adds pretty end caps and a gentle curve to soften its boundary.

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      Make it Comfy and Cozy

      This home's front porch and landscape speak volumes to the power of relaxation. Add spots, such as matching porch swings, to enjoy a variety of views, both outside and within the porch. Also noteworthy: Outdoor ceiling fans help to extend hours and times to enjoy a cottage-style front yard.

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      Pick a Single Colorful Accent

      Cottage style means different things to different people; for some, cottage evokes a more European design aesthetic, worthy of a place in the countryside. The homeowners updated that sensibility for the 21st century, thanks to the brightly painted shutters and front door. The selection of evergreens as landscape accent helps to soften the home’s facade and imposing roof.

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      Add Budget-Savvy Details

      Consider adding details that don't cost a lot but pay off big on cottage-style homes' front yards. Here, those include window boxes at both lower and second-story windows, as well as a trellis pattern repeated around the front door and on those containers.

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      Complement the Home's Details

      Plucked from the pages of a storybook, this quaint cottage-style home uses architecture and landscape to create a casually beautiful curb appeal. A wide wooden gate and tall stone fence both feel aged and perfectly in place, as do the naturally planted and growing collection of flowers and shrubs. A foliage-focused vine helps to soften the otherwise imposing brick facade.

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      Maintain Cottage Style on Outbuildings

      A garden shed is a great spot to perfect the cottage style of this landscape. For starters, there's the riotous collection of casual country blooms, as well as the neighboring pergola and plants. Additional details, including window boxes, narrow pieces of trellis, and a decorative cupola, add to the charming collection in the front landscape.

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      Next Slideshow Before and After: Home Exteriors

      Before and After: Home Exteriors

      Maximize curb appeal with an exterior makeover. See how these 24 facades went from ordinary to unforgettable.
      Begin Slideshow »



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