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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Add Interest with an Artful Staircase Design

Use your home's staircase to make a grand entrance. See how these railings, risers, and balusters blend art and function to create beautiful architectural details.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • The Long, Winding Rail

      This serpentine staircase blends wood, metal, and drywall. The ironwork on the railings creates a focal point for the room while also drawing the eye up to the next level.

    • Back to the Future

      A modern home calls for a modern staircase. This metal and glass version looks cool, yet creates an inviting transition between floors. One-of-a-kind touches, such as glass panels instead of cast baluster uprights and a slight curve as it ascends, make this staircase stand out.

    • Tall, Dark, and Handsome

      Classic elements such as wood and iron can still be eye-catching. Dark wood stairs and a hand-hammered iron balustrade command attention as they move between floors.

    • A Little Twist

      The tricky part of building a twisting stairwell is not the steps, it's making a smooth transition between floors. Here, plasterers created a smooth underside of the staircase that seems to spiral upward effortlessly.

    • Disappearing Acts

      Although this floating staircase appears to lack support, it's actually a strong, stable design. Each step was built as an individual box, then the steps were stacked and joined.

    • Best of Both Worlds

      It's a little bit country. Chunky hunks of fir have been attached to an industrial steel staircase to create a big-city look.

    • Pearly Whites

      This versatile set of stairs has treads stained deep brown and risers dressed with milk-white paint. Keep the stairs looking good longer by choosing the right finish. Choose a paint that promises a scuff-free surface and use a highly durable clear finish over the stain. The harder the shell, the longer you can wait between refinishing projects.

    • Walking on Air

      Maximize natural light in a room by choosing an open design. Built without view-blocking risers between the treads, this freestanding staircase creates an airy feel within this contemporary home.

    • Fancy Fretwork

      Specialty fretwork adorns the spaces between balusters, giving a lift to anyone ascending this staircase. Although the crafted inserts don't fulfill any structural necessity, they add architectural interest to the space.

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      Solid Statement

      A newel stands at the base of a staircase and must be strong enough to stabilize an entire assembly of handrails that climbs upward. Because newels are often positioned near the entry of houses, these posts have a decorative assignment as well.

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      Avoiding the Pits

      A pair of cherries seems ripe as they hang just under the handrail. This simple bangle proves the "less is more" adage. By adding only a bit of ornamentation to the balustrade, this fret piece makes a statement.

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      A Touch of Class

      For traditional-style homes, the tightly tailored look of a classic white-and-wood-tone stairwell is often the best choice. Here, simple square baluster uprights are perked up with a line of white stringers running beneath the natural wood handrails.

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      Ancient Flare

      These filigree iron balusters leave much of the structural work to the less-ornate rods that are also part of the balustrade. The ancient Greek and Roman floral motif added a classic flare to the staircase.

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      Less Is More

      A line of embellished metal shafts gives stairs visual presence. The simple design adds support and interest to any home.

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      Next Slideshow Simple Upgrades for Your Fireplace

      Simple Upgrades for Your Fireplace

      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.
      Begin Slideshow »



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