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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Real-Life Porch Additions

A pretty, practical porch never goes out of style. Create a space that's perfect for greeting and gathering with a porch addition.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Tudor-Style Porch

      This covered screen porch provides a cozy, convenient escape. This porch addition was built right on top of an old deck and given matching design details to the home's Tudor exterior. The porch's structure was built from pressure-treated pine to resist insects and decay. The opaque wood stain matches the home's trim.

    • Sensible Screening

      Even though the porch is petite, it packs a big punch. The porch's screening extends to the ceiling, which maximizes natural light and increases the view to the homeowner's wooded lot. A simple switch-operated lighting system was installed during the construction of the porch, so the space can be enjoyed at any time of day.

    • Location, Location

      The porch addition is located right off the kitchen, perfectly suited for a breakfast room or to host small gatherings. Coal-black all-weather wicker furniture with indoor-outdoor cushions matches the home's casual cottage style -- making it an extension of the indoor living spaces.

    • Purposeful Porch

      Here, a formerly flat facade found personality with an elegant porch addition. With its sheltering roof and eight redwood columns, the porch gives the homeowners a sense of enclosure while complementing the home's classic Tudor exterior. The porch is topped with an almost-flat roof to avoid compromising existing upper-level windows.

    • Classic Appeal

      Grand columns and a brick-clad foundation give the porch a been-there-for-decades look and feel. The columns carry the eye up to the beaded-board ceiling and a skylight, which was installed to provide natural light for the dining room just inside.

    • Snug and Sociable

      On the porch's south side, custom-built louvered shutters provide sun control and privacy. That, combined with a ceiling fan and fuss-free all-weather furnishings, create a comfy gathering space for family and friends.

    • Room with a View

      Tempered glass panels (attached with clips to a hammered-metal framework) and open, unscreened walls admit uninterrupted views of the homeowner's beloved garden. Flagstone flooring complements the historical home's style and offers carefree durability.

    • Party-Perfect Addition

      The porch addition on the back of this house features distinct areas for cooking, dining, and relaxing. Montana stone was used for the thick walls that define the outdoor living space. A pergola -- constructed of wood beams and frosted acrylic sheeting -- covers the entire porch, offering protection from the elements. The white concrete pillars supporting the pergola mimic pillars inside the home.

    • Friendly Fireplace

      A wood-burning fireplace -- also made from Montana stone -- backs to an identical unit in the indoor family room. The corner fireplace provides a focal point and keeps family and friends warm at night.

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      Outdoor Kitchen

      A large stainless-steel grill and gas cooktop anchor the cooking area of the porch addition. The thick walls of Montana stone provide a solid base for wide concrete countertops and a place for undercounter cabinets and drawers. Comfy, all-weather furnishings make outdoor dining enjoyable.

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      Upscale Addition

      This imposing porch was scaled to hold its own next to the Tudor-style residence in order to prevent the addition from looking tacked on. The porch shares rooflines and chimney forms with the house, and the cedar trim matches the color of the home's stucco exterior. A metal roof in dark bronze adds even more texture and character.

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      Rustic and Regal

      A grand wood-burning fireplace -- with a dry-stacked Tennessee fieldstone chimney facing -- serves as the rustic focal point and allows the room to be used virtually year-round. The vaulted ceiling and two dormers ensure that the porch interior feels as light and airy as the outdoors.

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      Impressive Interior

      Latticework and tongue-and-grove cedar boards filter the sunlight that enters through the porch's two large dormers. Weather-resistant Brazilian redwood flooring looks beautiful underfoot. The dining area of the room features a wicker dining set used for informal lunches, dinners, and parties.

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      Multipurpose Addition

      This backyard easily attracts the eye thanks to the addition of a multipurpose outdoor living space. A group of interconnected rooms provides plenty of space for both large and intimate gatherings. Structural columns set atop stone platforms support the roof and connect each room. A pair of elevated decks -- one for dining and one for relaxing -- flank the main sitting area. White-painted wood-frame pergolas top each deck.

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      Grand Entrance

      A covered porch with a hipped roof and a dramatic barrel-vaulted ceiling anchors the stately setting and serves as the main sitting area. French doors open onto the porch and allow easy indoor-outdoor access. A diamond-shape fountain is nestled at the end of the porch, drawing guests outward to the yard and providing additional seating along its smooth stone border.

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      Fabulous and Affordable

      All-weather fabrics and furnishings fill the rooms of this lavish addition. A ceiling fan moves the air in the main sitting area, keeping guests cool. The stamped-and-tinted flooring resembles natural stone -- but at a fraction of the cost and maintenance.

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      Flawless Facade

      This screen porch addition looks beautiful on the inside and outside. A peaked roof with matching trim keeps the addition in step with the rest of the house. Enhancing the new exterior is landscaping that surrounds the addition and a pretty patio.

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      Distinctive Details

      Whether it's spring, summer, fall, or winter, the porch is perfectly suited for year-round living. A wood-burning stone fireplace warms the space and provides a focal point. Columns, corbels, and the paneled fireplace wall give the room character and resemble architectural details found in the interior rooms of the house.

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      Next Slideshow Before & After Exteriors and Home Additions: Porches

      Before & After Exteriors and Home Additions: Porches

      Before-and-after photos show how a porch addition can add style and outdoor-living potential to your home.
      Begin Slideshow »



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