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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Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas

Boost the beauty of your backyard by adding an outdoor kitchen. Create a casual space to grill with family and friends - get inspired with these ideas.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Natural Textures

      The outdoor kitchen's gas grill, bar sink, and stainless steel drawers and vents are built into a rock-face cabinet topped with a concrete counter. The combination of textures adds artistic interest. Just as with an indoor kitchen, this is where guests are likely to gather.

    • Sleek Outdoor Buffet

      Slate countertops in this kitchen double as a food prep area and a buffet space where visitors can mingle and munch. The brick and stainless-steel grill are good materials for outdoor use and offer a sleek look.

    • Sheltered Outdoor Kitchen

      Tuck a cozy kitchen or dining nook under stairs or an overhanging porch or deck. Rain or shine, the cook and diners will be protected.

      Stone tiles used for the floor and counters will withstand foul weather. Keep them clean with a good hosing off.

    • Serving Up BBQ

      A short wall provides a narrow service shelf for food and drinks. The wall also helps define the size and location of the kitchen.

      A clock mounted near the grill lets the cook track grilling times.

    • Grilling Patio

      Nestling a built-in barbecue amid rich plantings makes for a more inviting dining area. Counter space was included next to the grill as a landing spot for hot plates.

      Note also that a lamp with a flexible neck is attached to the adjacent fence. This puts bright light where the cook wants it when barbecuing steaks after dark.

    • Double-Grill Fireplace

      A sizable brick barbecue is the focal point of this outdoor dining area. A natural-gas line fuels easy starts for wood fires.

      There are two grills: one for meats, one for veggies. Toasted marshmallows usually top the after-dinner menu.

      Interlocking bricks provide a solid, low-maintenance floor.

    • Outdoor Kitchen Surroundings

      Boost the presence of an outdoor kitchen by surrounding it with an interesting environment. Here, a simple pergola adjacent to the barbecue center creates a living background. The vines and trees make this a private space for entertaining.

      By contrast to the busy backdrop, the flooring is visually quiet. Long planks of natural-finish wood decking stretch out underfoot across the entertainment area.

    • Full Kitchen for Outdoors

      All the necessities of an outdoor kitchen are here: a refrigerator, sink, and natural-gas grill. There's comfortable seating and a cozy fireplace, too.

      To take the chill off cool evenings, a heater suspends from the pergola. Speakers were also installed.

    • A Compact Outdoor Kitchen

      In a compact space, this simple deck offers everything a family needs for dining and entertaining. The stone counter at the grill provides enough space for meal preparation.

      In addition to the seating it offers, the deck's built-in bench also functions as a railing that defines the deck and protects guests from a drop-off.

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      More than a Pool House

      A 550-square-foot pool house clad with limestone offers more than a mere dressing room. Just inside the open entryway is a grill, which is vented through the copper cupola atop the structure. A table sheltered by the entry pergola invites hungry swimmers to dine on their barbeque in comfort.

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      Second Kitchen Outside

      A grill, sink, and refrigerator--all faced with stainless steel--make barbecues a joy. This outdoor kitchen is just steps away from its indoor counterpart, so tools and ingredients are close at hand. Should a light rain fall, a broad umbrella protects diners at the table.

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      Defining Outdoor Spaces

      Douglas-fir pergolas give definition to the spa and dining spaces, setting boundaries similar to the way walls and ceilings do indoors. Of course, the views here are open to the pool and sky.

      The structure around the outdoor fireplace includes a towering chimney and a nook for firewood storage. A few steps down, past the table, is an outdoor kitchen counter.

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      Outdoor Snack Bar

      An eating bar is a practical addition to this outdoor kitchen. It allows for easy snack service during playtime breaks.

      Steps leading from a sandy play space to the outdoor kitchen help conquer the yard's severe slope. Native wildflowers also scramble across the hillside, turning the potentially awkward area into a sea of color.

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      Low-Maintenance Shelter

      Durable, low-maintenance materials, such as tile for countertops and flooring, ensure the pool house will weather well.

      Tongue-and-groove planks on the ceiling are similar in style to details of the main house.

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      Stacked-Stone Eating Counter

      This outdoor kitchen features a hardy poured-concrete countertop that steps up to form a serving bar. The bar hides clutter while the cook still has a clear view of the pool, spa, and sitting areas. Stacked-stone cladding gives the barbeque island a rustic look.

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      Gazebo Cooking Hut

      A complete outdoor kitchen is housed in this three-season gazebo. To support the barbeque and a bar/buffet, cabinetry lines the hut. Extensive storage means fewer supply runs to the house.

      Chores can be handled here, too. There's a sink, dishwasher, and concealed trash bin.

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      Outdoor Grill with Sizzle

      Meal prep is easy in this outdoor kitchen, which is equipped with a stainless-steel grill, sink, and cabinets. Seating abounds whether in the form of freestanding chairs and tables or low, built-in retaining walls and benches.

      On cool evenings, the kiva-style fireplace keeps guests warm.

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      Dream Barbeque

      Perched high for a bird's-eye view of the rolling hills beyond, this 400-square-foot outdoor kitchen is fully stocked. Features include everything a first-rate setup needs:

      -- Commerical-grade grill
      -- Wood-burning oven
      -- Refrigerator
      -- Dishwasher
      -- Plenty of storage
      -- Eating counter

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      Swim-Up Bar

      Swim on up and have some refreshments. That's the invitation of this hillside pool.

      The pool is actually a cliff-hanger. Built into a hillside, the pool is supported along its outer edge by footings drilled deep into the slope. The far lip of the pool has an infinity edge--there seems to be no edge at all.

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      Poolside Grill

      Set up under the home's eaves, this poolside grill area has a built-in gas grill. Storage cabinets along the floor are topped by a poured-concrete countertop, which doubles as a buffet server for the table.

      A smaller, separate cooktop for handling vegetables is a great partner for a full-size barbeque.

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      Private Outdoor Service

      A tile-clad privacy wall adjoining the pool doubles as a refreshment bar. It houses an undercounter beverage cooler and includes a convenient electrical outlet under the counter's edge. Tumbled-limestone cladding lets the bar blend with the pool deck and the rest of the wall.

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      Size Counts with Outdoor Entertainment

      This outdoor kitchen and entertainment area gets ample space. With stone covering most flat surfaces, including the floor and counters, it will weather the storms, as a good outdoor room must.

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      Freestanding Space

      Cypress cabinets enhance this modern outdoor kitchen and offer a water-resistant material for outside wear and tear. A ceiling fan adds comfort in the heat. The roof extends the use of the space and defines it as a freestanding room.

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      Rustic Space

      A rustic pergola gives structure to this kitchen area that is centered around a stone fireplace. Simple accents such as benches, containers, and furniture enhance the style of this casual setting.

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      Formal Outdoor Design

      A long dining table set under old-world style chandeliers offers a formal setting in this open-air outdoor kitchen and dining room. The grill and food prep area share a wall with the interior kitchen, making it easier and more economical to run gas and plumbing lines outside.

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      Durable Stone Structure

      Durable materials are critical components of any outdoor kitchen. Here, concrete countertops, stone cabinets, and stone floor bring unity to the space. Natural materials ground the kitchen, making it feel like a room of its own, and stand the test of weather and time.

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      Wood-Burning Oven

      Outdoor kitchens offer several advantages over their indoor counterparts, including being able to cook at much higher temperatures. The focal point of this kitchen is the wood-burning oven, which can reach significantly higher temperatures than interior ovens.

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      Next Slideshow Outdoor Fireplace Ideas

      Outdoor Fireplace Ideas

      Use these outdoor fireplace ideas to give your deck, patio, or backyard living room a dramatic focal point. Browse pictures of fireplace designs for decorating ideas, inspiration, and tips on how to build an outdoor fireplace.
      Begin Slideshow »



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