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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10 Sneaky Ways to Hide all the Clutter

A place for everything and everything in its place -- that's what prospective buyers want to see in your house. Here's how to lose (or disguise) the clutter.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Ditch the Coat Rack

      As handy as coat racks are in your entry or hallway, they may be sending the message to potential buyers that you don't have a coat closet or adequate storage. Put coat racks away while you're showing your home, and clean out your coat closet while you're at it.

    • Manage Magazines and Paper Piles

      Having a few magazines around can make a home look inviting and lived in. Having a few years' worth makes you look like an eccentric pack rat! People will wonder what else you've been hoarding! Have a few inoffensive magazines (home and garden publications are good; they make you look like you care) on your coffee table or in a nice magazine rack, and box or recycle the rest of them.

    • Edit Bookcases

      As lovely as bookcases are -- especially if they're architecturally attractive and built in -- they're a turnoff if they're too stuffed with books or a catch-all for clutter. Edit your bookshelves so that they feel just a little bit empty. Stack books in interesting patterns and accessorize lightly.

    • Enlist Storage Baskets

      The humble basket is a space-saving miracle worker when you're trying to hide clutter. Everything from your multiple remote controls to out-of-season table linens can be stored in one kind of basket or another. For sneaky storage that's also attractive, stack baskets or vintage suitcases under a coffee table or in an unused fireplace. Put a covered basket or decorative box on the foyer table to hold incoming and outgoing mail, or in the bathroom to hide extra toiletries.

    • Clear the Kitchen Counters

      When it comes to showing off your kitchen, a little bare is best. Too many small appliances on the counter signals you don't have enough room in your cupboards. Speaking of cabinets, make sure yours are up to snuff, with pull-out shelves, silverware organizers, and lazy Susans.

    • File It Away

      Don't know what to do with newspapers, office files, out of season clothes? Slide some slim boxes under your bed for your sweaters so your closet feels more airy. File tax records and other personal files into decorative cardboard boxes on the shelves in your office. Store bathroom towels in an over-the-commode shelving unit. Put newspapers in a recycling bin in the garage (prospective buyers will like that you're "green").

    • Corral Landing Zones

      All that stuff that you usually find plopped down right inside your back door -- everything from shopping bags to hockey sticks to shoes to umbrellas to gardening gloves to backpacks? It all has to be corralled and stored so potential buyers don't get frightened. And if you see a trouble spot, fix it with a built-in storage bench with a cushion, or a row of pegs. In fact, if you deal with all that stuff the right way, buyers will go away thinking your house has built-in clutter control. Have just enough of your day-to-day stuff organized on mudroom pegs and shelves to show that real people live there -- and hide the rest away.

    • Downsize Collections

      Your 10,000 earrings, Janie's stuffed animal menagerie, that wine cork collection? Best to put them safely out of sight. It's OK to display a small selection of fine china or figurines in a glass cupboard or on a bookshelf, but you don't want the buyer to not be able to see the fine bones of the house or imagine her collections there because of the overwhelming presence of all your stuff.

    • Organize the Bedroom Closet

      If you haven't put in closet organizers, now is the time! You can purchase or build your own system that will use your space more efficiently and make even the smallest closet look larger. There is nothing like opening a closet door and seeing shoes stacked in plastic boxes or on a shoe rack, belts hung together, and clothes all lined up neatly. To make the closet look even bigger, store half of what you own and hang the rest on new matching hangers.

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      Medicine Cabinet Makeover

      This is one of the few times in your life when strangers will think it's OK to look in your medicine cabinet! Clean it out, and paint the interior with a fresh coat of white paint (there's nothing worse than a rusty old medicine cabinet; replace it if it can't be brought up to snuff). Keep only benign objects in the cabinet (perhaps first aid or tooth-cleaning items) and put all of the embarrassing stuff -- prescriptions, birth control pills, ointments -- away in a safe, private spot.

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      Next Slideshow Staging Tricks from the Pros

      Staging Tricks from the Pros

      It can be a challenge to sell a house these days. That's why many home sellers are hiring professional stagers to help them hike the odds of attracting a buyer. Here are some of the tricks the pros use to help homes sell quickly and for more than the asking price.
      Begin Slideshow »



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