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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Popular in Home Improvement

Wainscoting, Paneling & Beaded Board

Paint, wallpaper, and faux effects can be beautiful. But for adding classic character to a room, nothing beats wood. Learn about the different types of beaded board and paneling, plus get fresh ideas for how to use these detailed elements.

"Wood walls are the best way to warm up a house," says Atlanta-based designer Roman Hudson. But with so many choices available, how to start? Hudson offers some advice.

Q. When is beaded board appropriate?

A. Beaded board was the late-1800s version of Sheetrock, used when you couldn't afford plaster. There are several kinds. Narrow-plank beaded board (about 4-inch-wide boards with a bead every 2 inches) works best in service areas -- baths, kitchens, mudrooms, enclosed porches -- but never in formal rooms. Wide-plank beaded board (about 6 or 8 inches wide, separated by a single bead) is a little dressier and more sophisticated. It can go in service areas, too, but also in dens, libraries, powder rooms, and breakfast rooms. Both narrow- and wide-plank styles lend themselves beautifully to ceilings. Finally, there is V-groove beaded board, which actually has no bead, just a V-shape groove where the boards fit together. This is generally a rustic look -- very cottagey, very country. It's great in woodsy and beachy environments (where narrow beaded board works, too). Use it in bedrooms, entry halls, baths --anywhere you want to feel warm and cozy.

Q. Should beaded board be painted or natural? And how much does it cost?

A. In today's design schemes, beaded board is usually painted, but it looks good natural, too. It has great versatility. You can cover whole walls with it or use it as wainscoting up to chair-rail height. It's relatively inexpensive: about $2-$5 per square foot.

Q. What kind of character do wood-paneled rooms impart?

A. Paneling is for more formal, sophisticated looks. It can be used as wainscoting along a stairway and in formal powder rooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and libraries. And even though people do it, paneling should never be used in a kitchen.

Q. How about options and cost?

A. With paneling, you're basically dividing the wall into grids with square or rectangular sections that are recessed (approximately $4 per square foot) or raised (approximately $6 per square foot). These sections are usually outlined with applied decorative molding. Or you can have panels with no recessed or raised portions, just the applied molding, which is less expensive (approximately $2 per square foot). Paneling requires skilled labor, which makes it more expensive than beaded board. True early American panels were painted; staining didn't come along until the Gilded Age. But stained paneling should be strictly reserved for libraries. And with staining, you have to improve the grade of wood -- oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany -- which can triple your cost. For painted paneling, I recommend using poplar, which doesn't have knots like pine and doesn't warp or separate.

Q. Are there casual applications for paneling?

A. Not all wallboards have to run vertically. Using horizontal planks that are butt-jointed flat against each other with no applied moldings is a way to make a paneled room look relaxed. Whitewashing the planks creates a very beachlike feel. And this treatment averages $2 per square foot.

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