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

Kitchen Tour: Eco-Friendly Kitchen Remodel

See how these Michigan homeowners used environmentally friendly updates to turn their dream of a "green" kitchen design into a sustainable reality.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Green Kitchen Design

      Green is more than a color these days; it's a building philosophy. "Green" homes incorporate sustainable materials and design ideas aimed at protecting the environment by promoting energy conservation. Avid environmentalists, the owners of this Michigan home decided to make some dramatic, eco-friendly updates to their country French-inspired kitchen, whose vintage charm was lost during a 1970s remodel.

    • Energy-Efficient Windows

      Enlarged windows will brighten up a dark room without increasing your ecological footprint. To bring in the elements and open up the space, these homeowners extended their windows from countertop to ceiling. During the day, the room is flooded with natural light, making electric overhead lighting unnecessary. In addition, the energy-efficient windows offer breathtaking views of the garden outside.

    • Walk-In Pantry from Existing Entry

      When your floor plan has you in a box, think of ways to create additional space without adding square footage. In this kitchen remodel, several existing spaces were repurposed to create a better-flowing and functional area. Here, a new walk-in pantry, conveniently positioned behind the refrigerator wall in what was once a small rear entry, houses a modest wine collection and everyday kitchen supplies.

    • Desk Niche from Existing Closet

      The addition of the walk-in pantry made the kitchen's existing storage closet unnecessary. The homeowners turned the closet into a work space, fitting the niche with a desk, shelves, and drawers for office supplies. They didn't add any space--it was simply a matter of assessing existing spaces and reusing them.

    • Salvaged Prep Sink

      When it comes to recycling, don't stop at paper over plastic. Recycled materials can be put to good use in your newly remodeled space too. These homeowners salvaged the prep sink from their old kitchen and installed it in their new granite island. An antique pewter arched faucet reflects the home's country French roots and mirrors the cabinetry's hardware.

    • Recycled Butcher Block

      The homeowners also repurposed their old countertops, sandwiching them together to create a butcher-block corner for the island. The recycled elements now serve as nostalgic reminders of the old kitchen the family used for so many years.

    • Green Granite Island

      When updating, always consider form and function. In this remodel, a small, dated island was replaced with a longer, sleeker version that includes a cooktop, prep sink, and butcher-block corner. Green granite with an ogee edge graces the new island, accenting the lively spring color of the kitchen walls. Three barstools pull up to the island, encouraging family and friends to sit down and relax.

    • Breakfast Banquette

      In another example of creating space without adding square footage, these homeowners opened up their confined cooking area by removing a wall between the former breakfast room and kitchen. This also created space for a cozy, dark-stained banquette and a custom built-in cabinet used to store porcelain and table linens.

    • Energy-Saving Appliances

      When modernizing your cooking area, be sure to install Energy Star appliances, which use 10%-50% less energy than standard models. In this home, new stainless-steel appliances enhance the fresh look and energy efficiency of the kitchen. Custom cabinets with beaded insets and antiqued-pewter hardware add a vintage touch.

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      Eco-Friendly Cork Flooring

      For flooring, consider solid cork. It's a durable, natural material that's easy on the feet--and the environment. It costs roughly the same as hardwood, but solid-cork flooring has a distinct ecological advantage--sustainability. While other trees can take decades to regenerate, cork trees regenerate every nine years.

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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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