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

Renovate, Remodel & Redecorate

We have the best tips and tricks to turn any space in your home into that comfortable space you've always wanted. Check out our suggestions for home renovations.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Ask for Help

      If you're not fully comfortable completing a home renovation on your own, don't be afraid to consult a local designer to help you with your bigger tasks. Working with projects that include drywall, countertops and plumbing can intimidate many do-it-yourself entrepreneurs and can also put a big hole in your pocketbook. Be sure to check the background on the designer you choose so you know that you'll get exactly what you want in your remodel.

    • Be Specific

      When discussing your remodel with your designer, be sure to tell him exactly what you want. If you're not specific, the designer could end up filling in the gray areas of your design with his own ideas, and you may later regret the decision. Also, keep your designer strictly on your budget. Don't allow him to purchase a more expensive fabric or paint and charge you for it later. If you try to stay within a specific time frame, your costs will stay low, too.

    • Serene Scene

      Even though most bathrooms are usually the smallest rooms in the house, they shouldn't lack any of the serenity the rest of your house claims. When redoing your bathroom, make sure that you have a professional handyman to help you with the plumbing and electric fixtures to ensure all are installed safely, and you'll know that with a professional helping you, your new fixtures will be up to code.

    • Stylish Upgrades

      Define your style in every room of your house--even in the bathroom. You can add flair to everything from the vanity to the shower and bath towels. And even if you feel like your style isn't modern, that doesn't mean you can't have modern amenities in your bathroom. Hidden features like towel warmers and outlets in vanity drawers can easily update your bathroom, and your designer will know all about the latest features you can add.

    • Storage Bonus

      Kitchen cabinets not only add storage but also act as the focal point of the kitchen. They can add height to a room by contributing floor to ceiling storage and they can also dramatically contrast the colors you've chosen for the room--but in a good way. Don't be afraid to mix and match cabinet finishes with your kitchen island and built-in cupboards. The two can complement each other tremendously.

    • Classy Countertops

      Kitchen countertops come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, materials and prices. With so many choices, you must decide first which countertop material fits your budget. After you have decided on a material, choose the color and size of the countertop you'll need. Also be sure you know what kind of maintenance the countertop will need. Is it heat resistant? Does it need special cleaners? Is it porous or will it stain? Understand these questions before purchasing a countertop.

    • Consider the Location

      Choosing a flooring material depends largely on the room you decide to renovate. For example, fluffy carpet is probably not the top choice for most designers to install in kitchens. Solid stone tiles are usually not meant for bedrooms. Decide on a flooring style that is practical yet stylish for the space. Wood, tile, and laminate flooring are great choices for kitchens and bathrooms, or you can opt for a more elegant style with stone, pebble, or mosaic flooring and accent with a great rug.

    • Personalize It

      After you've decided on a type of flooring, add some personality to your choice. Incorporate your color scheme into your flooring by adding little pieces of colored tile into your larger design. Place accent pieces into your wood floor to create a central design. You can also incorporate your tile design down the wall into your shower area to create a river-like illusion.

    • A Fresh Start

      If you feel like the room you're redecorating could use a facelift, you might need a new coat of paint. Brighten or darken the space with just a few simple brushstrokes, and painting won't damage your wallet, either. Your designer can always help you choose the right color for the room, or you can choose a color to bring out a particular decorative accent piece.

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      Don't Paint It All

      Painting is a cheap and effective way to redecorate any room, but don't assume that you can paint everything. For example, don't paint bathtubs or sinks. These two fixtures require toxic chemicals to complete the job, so leave this to a professional. Stay away from painting kitchen countertops. Standard paint isn't food safe and won't hold up to heat and moisture. Also, don't paint ceramic tile in wet areas. The water will break down the paint and ruin your paint job.

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      Next Slideshow 20 Remodeling Ideas You'll Wish You'd Thought of First

      20 Remodeling Ideas You'll Wish You'd Thought of First

      There's always time to get inspired by creative remodeling projects. These clever space transformations combine family-friendly practicality with good looks for homes that work hard and charm well.
      Begin Slideshow »



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