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

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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

Embossed Stepping Stones

Walk right over these fun stepping stones made from masonry mix and objects pressed in place.

This technique can be used to make stepping stones up to 12 inches in diameter and 2 inches thick.

Wet masonry mix is extremely caustic, so protect your hands with rubber gloves. Plan to use about 1 gallon of ready-mix for each 12-inch stone. For many stones, it's often cheaper to use this recipe: 3 parts masonry sand, 1 part Portland cement type 1, and approximately 1 part water. Blend dry ingredients thoroughly until mixture is one color. Make a well in the center of dry mixture. Pour water in well; mix until it is the consistency of custard. Use immediately.

What You Need:

  • Plastic dishpan or storage container
  • Builder's sand
  • Trowel
  • Masonry mix (see notes above)
  • Objects to embed in the concrete
  • Rubber gloves
Step 1

1. Create the mold. Fill any 12-inch-diameter plastic container with damp builder's sand to within 2 inches of the top. Trowel to level. Arrange leaves or other natural elements on sand. Press leaves in place vein side up. Embed a mix of shells, rocks, or pottery in the sand, keeping in mind that the side placed in the sand will be visible after the stepping-stone dries.

Step 2

2. Pour the mix. Taking care not to disturb leaves, pour ready-mix into mold. Trowel to settle cement, release air bubbles, and bring excess water to surface. Avoid over-troweling or digging into sand. The surface should be smooth and level.

Step 3

3. Cure and unmold. After curing for 48 hours in shade, loosen the mold and invert onto plastic. Trowel off excess sand. (Some sand remains for texture.) Hose off and remove leaves with fingers or use a fingernail tool. Some leaves may need to dry for 2 to 3 weeks before you can remove them.


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