Genius Bedroom Storage Ideas

See how you can pack more storage into your bedroom and closet and maximize organization.

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Browse Backsplashes

Transform your kitchen with one of these stylish backsplash ideas.

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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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Update for $100

When it comes to DIY home projects, inexpensive does not have to equal inconsequential. For less than $100, you can create custom light fixtures, build accent walls, update your floors, or design one-of-a-kind decor. Budget home projects can make a big difference, as proven by this bunch of crafty bloggers.

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Add Exterior Charm

Is your home's exterior looking a little drab? These homes were too, until character-boosting updates completely transformed their dull facades. Take a cue from their makeovers and you too can refresh your exterior.

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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

Earth-Friendly Building Materials

You don't have to strain your budget to choose a healthy home. These days, it's easy being green. Here's what's new in environmentally friendly products and materials for the home.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Recycled Products

      Whenever possible, use recycled materials. Look for rubber and polymer roofing that imitates slate to reduce weight and maintenance. For countertops, backsplashes, shower surrounds, walls, and floors consider materials that blend a percentage of recycled glass with concrete. Choose carpets made from 100 percent recycled content.

    • Lumber Choices

      Avoid products produced from old-growth timber or endangered tropical hardwoods. Seek out materials from certified and managed forests, recycled or reclaimed wood (salvaged from riverbeds or old buildings), or composites such as formaldehyde-free MDF (medium-density fiberboard) for doors and cabinets.

    • Natural Choices

      Many building materials have natural alternatives. Select cellulose insulation, which is made out of plant fiber, instead of fiberglass. Choose Homasote, a recycled newspaper product, as a substitute for drywall in some places. Use linoleum for the kitchen floor rather than vinyl. Real linoleum is made from biodegradable linseed oil, pine rosins, and wood flour on a jute backing. In other rooms, choose wood floors or carpet made of wool and sisal, a natural grasslike fiber.

    • Use Insulated Panels

      Structural Insulated Panels (www.sips.org) are gaining acceptance for use in walls, floors, and roofs. Panels sandwich a rigid foam core between OSB, oriented strand board. OSB mixes wood strands made from fast-growing trees with wax and a binder to form mats. These mats are layered across each other for strength, then heat-pressed into panels. The makers say the panels save time and energy over stick-built construction.

    • Window Tips

      High-performance windows, especially with low-emissivity, or low-E, glazings, are among the best-known ways to save energy for heating and cooling.

    • Water Savers

      Use water-saving appliances throughout the house, such as Energy Star-rated dishwashers and front-loading washing machines. In the bathroom, new toilets are mandated to use 1.6 or less gallons of water per flush.

    • Tankless Water Heaters

      These compact, on-demand units attach to your plumbing system and heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger. You only pay to heat water when you need it.

    • Green Certified

      Prevent environmentally triggered illness and allergies by using Greenguard certified low-emitting interior products and materials. The Greenguard Environmental Institute performs quarterly air-quality performance tests on these items to ensure building materials aren't emitting fumes or trapping air, which creates mold.

      www.greenguard.org

    • Low- or No-VOC Products

      Air-polluting volatile organic compounds, VOCs, include toxic solvents and formaldehyde. Some new fiberglass insulation is VOC-free; other lung-friendly insulation includes recycled cotton batts, containing cloth trimmings usually scrapped, and soy-based sprayed-in foam.

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      Odorless Paint

      Many paint companies now feature lines of low- or no-VOCs. These paints have virtually no odor during application and drying. Pick water-based paints when available. They have less odor and require less cleanup than oil-base paints.

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      Outdoor Materials

      Outdoor materials have also gone green. One eco-friendly decking option is treated lumber. Arsenic was banned for use in treated lumber and has been replaced by less toxic preservatives. The other green choice is composite decking (shown here), which is made from ground wood fibers and resin. It won't rot and may not need to be finished.

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      Next Slideshow 10 Easy Ways to Go Green

      10 Easy Ways to Go Green

      Small actions can create big change -- especially when it comes to the environment. Here are 10 no- or low-cost ways to lessen your impact on the planet, create a healthier house and garden, and even fatten your wallet.
      Begin Slideshow »

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