Advice & Ideas

Look to Riverbend Home for advice, tips, and how-to's for remodeling, decorating, and maintaining your home. You'll find a variety of helpful articles that offer solutions for DIY projects, provide style ideas, and more.

How To Choose Pendant Lighting

For a versatile lighting option, you can’t go wrong with pendant light fixtures. A pendant can easily suit any of your lighting needs, providing overall room illumination, task lighting for a focusing light on a specific area, and as accent lighting to highlight a particular feature or space.

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How To Choose Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting fixtures can add a stylish and functional way to brighten up the rooms of your home. These sleek, hidden lighting fixtures are mounted flush with the ceilings, so they’re perfect for rooms with low ceilings or for spaces where you want a less obtrusive fixture.

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A Weekend Warrior’s Renovation Series: Bathroom Remodel – Episode 4

The demolition phase is complete on the Weekend Warrior’s main bathroom remodel. Here’s a recap of what it took to get there.

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How to Choose the Right Vanity for Your Bathroom

A vanity is a big part of your bathroom, don't overlook it's importance. Here are some tips to help you choose the right bath vanity to suit your space, style, and needs.

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How to Choose the Right Size Chandelier

To help ensure you select a chandelier that is in perfect proportion to its surroundings, here are a few tips on choosing the right size chandelier for your room.

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A Weekend Warrior’s Renovation Series: Bathroom Remodel – Episode 3

Before I begin work, I like to layout tasks and projects into a work plan or checklist. There are lots of dependencies for things to keep moving along without downtime, so this really helps me get organized.

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A DIYer Adds a Shower to a Half Bath

As a family of four with two fast growing kids, we understood the benefits that would come with having two showers. Less fighting over bathroom space is a win for all.

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How to Choose a Smart Thermostat

If you're thinking about adding home automation to your next home improvement project, installing a smart thermostat may be a great place to start. Smart thermostats are the hottest trend in home automation and one that can save you money in the long run

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A Weekend Warrior's Renovation Series: Bathroom Remodel – Episode 2

The design phase of a new project is probably the most fun for my wife and me. It is about inspiration, imagination and choices! Here, I'll outline our approach and how we arrived at certain decisions that shape the project in regards to layout/fixtures, surfaces, and finishes.

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The Benefits of Baseboard Heaters

Implementing a supplemental heating strategy can help your central heating system work more efficiently and less expensively to keep your home comfortable during the colder fall and winter seasons.

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A DIYer's Experience with a Whole House Renovation

We knew we wanted to completely rework the flow of the house and take down walls, so our first step was to to have a surveyor come in. Then the engineer come in because we needed to have support beams put in since walls were coming down.

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Home Innovations That Are Genuinely Helpful

Every year companies come out with new and innovative products that make home life easier and better. From toilets to thermostats, let's take a closer look at these cool innovations.

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A Weekend Warrior's Renovation Series: Bathroom Remodel – Episode 1

Four key factors for the weekend warrior to consider before jumping in.

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How to Decorate in Coastal Style

Bright and breezy, classic and comfortable, coastal style brings the beauty of the beach to your home. Regardless of where you live, you can add casual cottage appeal to your interior spaces that whispers of summers spent at the shore.

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Bathroom Design Trends

We've compiled a list of the top design ideas to make planning your bathroom remodel project a bit easier.

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Riverbend Home Renovation Interview Series: Experiences, Advice and Tips from Everyday People - Volume 3

Many factors conspired, leading to a major renovation project. The kids were finally out on their own and we wanted to replace our tired old house with a more maintenance-free home as we approached retirement. In short, we decided to do 20 years of major maintenance all at once.

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Big Ideas for Small Kitchens

Designing a small kitchen that meets all of your daily needs can be a challenge, but with clever uses of space and simple design ideas for small kitchens, you can create a functional space that looks and feels larger than its square footage.

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The Gold Rush of Interior Design: Brass is Back – Brass Accents for All!

Gone are the days when polished brass took over a room. The gold rush of 2014 has been replaced with tasteful and thoughtfully placed muted, matte, and antiqued brass accents that play well with mixed materials and finishes.

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How to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal

What are some great ways to improve the curb appeal of your home? We're glad you asked, because we have some great ideas for you, they might not be brand new, but they are tried and true.

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How to Hang Wall Art with a Hanging Wire

Maybe it was a gift, an impulse buy at a flea market, or a purchase made with intent and purpose but the bottom line is, now that you have framed wall art, you need to know how to hang it.

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How to Install A Kitchen Faucet

If it's time to change a worn out, leaky kitchen faucet or update your style, you can switch it out yourself and save money regardless of what type you choose.

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How to Fix a Clogged Garbage Disposal

There comes a time in every garbage disposal owner's life when they will experience a jam of some sort. In my experience, this has typically been broken glass, a small unseen piece of bone, or plastic ware that has taken the plunge.

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Choosing a Contractor for an Accessible Renovation

Look for affiliations and certifications such as the National Association of Home Builders' Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, which indicates that someone at the company has been trained in universal design techniques.

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How to Choose Your Kitchen Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements in a functional kitchen. When renovating your kitchen, be sure to make lighting a priority early in the planning stages before closing up any open walls or ceilings to ensure that you get the ideal lighting configuration for your daily needs. Remember that the best lit kitchens combine multiple types of lighting.

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How to Choose Your Kitchen Sink Faucet

If you're doing a substantial renovation and you've got room to spare, you've got options galore: a main sink faucet plus a separate prep sink and faucet, for example. But even if you're just replacing one faucet, you can benefit from taking a fresh look at how you use water in the kitchen.

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How to Choose Your Bathroom Sink Faucet

As with any replacement or renovation, start by considering your household's needs.

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How to Choose Kitchen Counters

We've compiled a list of the most popular types of countertops to take the guess work out of your decision and help you find the perfect fit.

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How to Choose Your Home Water Filtration System

A good home filtration system does more than provide healthy, fresh tasting water for your home. A water filtration system will deliver clean water for your family and protect your home appliances and fixtures by removing harmful contaminants, bacteria, minerals, sediment and more. To determine the type of water filtration your home needs there are a few factors to consider.

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How to Choose Your Steam Bath System

Many homeowners are opting to replace bathtubs and showers with steam shower stalls approved for steam use. Installing a steam bath requires plumbing work behind the walls, so careful planning in the beginning stages of a renovation or new build is important.

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How to Choose Your Bathroom Sink

What do you really want to know about the different types of bathroom sinks? We all like to know what's trending, but most people want to know what's right for them—their family's activities, budget, and space. In this article our Riverbend Home consultants help you match a sink style to your lifestyle.

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How to Choose Your Toilet

Modern toilets offer great choices: advanced functionality, earth-friendly conservation options and excellent design potential. If you're planning to splurge on just one fixture in your bathroom project, why not make it a high quality, good looking toilet with low-clog, easy clean features?

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How to Choose Your Bathroom Lighting

Just as photographers and filmmakers stress the importance of lighting, interior designers and architects do too. In this article, our consultants will help you optimize the light in your bath to best showcase your finished design project. With the increase in choices and available options, customizing your bath lighting has never been easier.

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How to Choose Your Garbage Disposal

How big is your household? This simple question's answer is going to help you choose the right garbage disposal. You need to purchase a unit that will be adequate for your household needs, but avoid expensive overkill.

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How to Choose Your Medicine Cabinet

We always suggest that you begin your project by evaluating how you and others use the space and how your new design element will fit the room.

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How to Choose Your Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans are a great, economical way to make your home feel comfortable year round. In addition to the comfort that they provide, there are a few important factors to consider when choosing your ceiling fans. First, determine whether or not your home needs an air conditioning system or if ceiling fans will be enough to keep your home comfortable.

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How to Choose Your Bathtub and Shower Faucets

As always, if you're replacing faucets, your choices depend on the fixtures you're keeping. You'll need to match your new faucets to your tub/shower configuration, bathroom décor, the finish of other faucets in the room, and other details such as a tub or tub deck that is already drilled with a certain number of holes.

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How To Choose Your Kitchen Sink

Whether you are building, remodeling, or simply replacing, chances are you've got some decisions to make. Think about the ways you use your kitchen sink. For example, if you bake, consider a single basin sink for large pans and cookie sheets, as well as a deeper than standard bowl.

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How to Choose Your Bathroom Vent Fan

One of the most important purchases you can make for your home is a bathroom vent fan. A good vent fan will extend the life of your home, prevent unhealthy mold and mildew build-up, and keep the air inside your home from becoming stale.

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How to Choose Your Pot Filler Faucet

One gallon of water weighs almost 8 ½ pounds. So whether you're cooking pasta for 10 or lobster for 2, it takes some work to get that big old pot from sink to stove. Pot filler faucets are more useful than you think. Here are some tips on how to pick the one that's right for you.

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I Think I May Need a Utility Sink: Here's Why

I think I may need a utility sink. After recently moving into our new home and working on quite a few home improvement projects, I've started longing for a utility sink. Every time I wash my paint brushes in my kitchen or bathroom sink and the paint splatters everywhere I wish I had one.

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The Quick and Easy Way to Replace and Install a Ceiling Light Fixture

Give your home a lighting makeover. The right light can make or break the overall look and feel of a room. If your home’s lighting is out of date, not your style, or something you just have become bored with, it’s time to replace your old fixtures with something fresh and new.

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Riverbend Home Renovation Interview Series: Experiences, Advice and Tips from Everyday People Volume 2

We make it a point to listen to the stories and experiences of people who are or have been active in renovating their homes. We have found their stories encouraging, helpful and informative and wanted to share some of them with our readers. We hope you draw inspiration from each as you go forth on your own renovation adventure.

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Going Deluxe - Luxury Trends in Bathroom Design

Custom, luxury bathrooms are now on people's wish lists, and consumers are willing to pay enough to get the style and features they want. Remodeling professionals are seeing the average cost going up on a typical bathroom renovation. People are spending more money on their bathrooms than they did in the past.

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The Mayne Way to Make Your Home More Appealing

Aside from a fresh coat of paint, newly cleaned exterior siding, or a well-manicured lawn, you can easily spruce up your home's appearance with the addition of some outdoor accessories. You'll make a huge impact on your home's look and increase its overall value.

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Small Bathroom Ideas from Our Experts

Whether you are building, renovating, or just updating, here are five classic small bathroom ideas to make your room feel more spacious and comfortable.

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Consider Other Finishes for Your Granite

Polished granite has been the surface of choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops for the past ten to fifteen years. The majority of projects today are still utilizing polished granite, but there are two finishes that have been increasing in popularity as customers are looking for a softer, more natural look.

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All About Basement Bathroom Systems

For many homeowners, converting the basement into a usable living space is a great way to add value to their home. Basement bathroom renovations can be a challenge when installing toilets and sinks because the gravity assist that works in transporting waste in drains and sewer lines upstairs will no longer work in a below grade environment

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Big Ideas for Small Bathrooms

Take a look at these design ideas and tips for designing a small bathroom that suits all of your needs.

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The Benefits of Bidets

Bidets are popular bathroom fixtures used widely around the world. In Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, bidets are found in roughly 80 percent of bathrooms. However, many Americans have never even seen one, never mind used one.

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What's the Difference between Contemporary and Modern Style?

This question comes up often in the interior design world, especially because the two terms are often used interchangeably even by professionals.

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How Universal Design Can Make Your House a Life-Long Home

Your home should be welcoming and accessible to everyone who lives there, regardless of their age, size, or ability. Outfitting your house using the principles of universal design can ensure your home meets the needs of all people. Not only will it allow you to age in place and live there for as long as possible, it will make it more marketable to a variety of people if you should decide to sell it in the future.

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Casual and Elegant: French Country Style

Traditional Style encompasses many sub-variations. One variation worth exploring is French Country Style. Among specific design elements and motifs, the adjectives casual and elegant are often used to describe the formal-yet-inviting feel of a French Country home.

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Indikoi Sinks: One-Of-A-Kind Bathroom Sinks

Indikoi Sinks is a small family owned business that produces American made, high quality, handcrafted sinks. We got the inside scoop from one of the two owners, Brandi Pellerin, one half of the husband and wife duo who do it all from their home studio in Springfield, NH where Brandi's husband David hand crafts each sink from start to finish.

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A Home for Everyone Through Universal Design

Outfitting your house using the principles of universal design can ensure your home meets the needs of all people. Not only will it allow you to age in place and live there for as long as possible, it will make it more marketable if you should decide to sell it in the future.

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Three Laundry Room Ideas for a Remodel

No longer thought of as strictly utilitarian, the laundry room is a true living area that is an extension of the homeowner's style.

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Reflect Your Style with Mirrors

When it comes to dressing up the walls of your house, nothing maximizes a room's style more than a well-placed mirror. In addition to the practical function of allowing you to check your appearance, a mirror acts as a decorative element that reflects and enhances the décor of your home.

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Affordable Luxury: The American Standard Freestanding Cadet Bathtub

Three things have us excited about the American Standard Cadet freestanding bathtub kit. First, there's the tub itself—a sleek modern take on the hot freestanding tub trend. Second, a price that puts this chic look within the reach of many more homeowners. Third, the package includes a coordinated chrome floor mount tub filler with integrated handshower (and drain) at no additional cost. We spoke with Gray Uhl, Director of Design at American Standard, to get the inside story.

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With Courage and Grab Bars, Life Goes On

This is Part One of a two-part guest post on accessible bathroom renovation by Washington D.C.-based journalist Judi Hasson.

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Get Your Gas Grill Ready for Grilling Season

Summer's here and with it comes prime grilling season. If you're ready to taste some great barbeque, but your grill is looking a little worse for wear this year, don't worry. You can save your old grill from ending up in the trash and restore it to new, working condition for much less than the cost of buying a new grill.

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Wall Papered and Painted Ceilings

If you're looking for an easy way to add a style statement in any room of your home, look up. Interior designers say to think of your ceiling as an extra wall that can be used to enhance the room's design. Whether wallpaper or paint, statement ceilings are a stand-out interior design trend this summer that can be done on just about any budget.

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Rustic Decor Ideas for Chic Farmhouse Style

Simplicity, warmth, and coziness… some things never go out of style when it comes to making your house a home. Rustic home decor adds a certain down home charm that appeals to most everyone. It evokes that sense of family and time-honored values that puts a put a smile on your face, and warm feelings in your heart.

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16 Things Our Customers Say About Renovating

We thought it might be helpful to share some great advice from customers who have undertaken major renovations—words of wisdom from folks who have “been there, done that”. Enjoy!

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The New Lighting Technology: A Guide to Light Bulb Types

The options available are almost limitless and more energy efficient than ever before. Choices range from the traditional incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent to high-tech LED emitters with everything in-between.

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Free Printable Halloween Word Search Puzzle

Everybody getting a bit antsy waiting for the big day? Click the link below to download our fun Word Search. Print a bunch of copies, sharpen some pencils, and sit down together at the kitchen table. Who can finish first?

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May Gardening: Succession Planting

Succession planing is technique I love that might be helpful to you. Here are some tips to get started.

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5 Reasons to Use a Fire Pit in Autumn

With the crisp chill in the air during autumn, it is the perfect time to add a fire pit to your backyard and enjoy the cooling breezes. What better way to share quality time with family and friends or to extend your outdoor activities. Here are 5 reasons to use a fire pit in fall.

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Decorating Ideas for Craftsman Style Homes

The beauty of Craftsman homes lends itself to a wide variety of decorating options. Whether you wish to reflect the history of the original structure of a restored home or update the décor to a bright and modern style, the possibilities are endless. Let's explore some of the ways to furnish a Craftsman-style living spaces.

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How to Make a House a Home with Accessories

Accessories make your house a home. They add a finishing touch to a room and give it a pulled together look. They make a drab room fab and flavor it with style. Decorative items add color, texture, and warmth to a space. The best accessories are more than just pretty objects that fill up a house. They add a personal touch to reflect the heart and soul of the people who call it home.

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User-Friendly Guide to Installing an Ecobee3

I did it. I installed my first home automation accessory. The Ecobee3 thermostat. Below is my experience captured through images and helpful insights

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Ways to Make Your Home Holiday Ready

It's the time of year to gather friends and family to share and celebrate together. With the holiday season approaching, it's time to prepare your hearth and home to welcome friends and family when they come to call. Here's some ways to get ready for the festivities ahead in these fall and winter months.

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Compare Thermostat Technologies: Manual, Programmable and Smart Thermostats

Many smart home technologies like Wi-Fi enabled thermostats offer affordable ways to improve your home's energy efficiency to save on heating and cooling costs. See how smart Wi-Fi enabled thermostats stack up compared to manual and programmable thermostats.

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15 Fresh Start Ideas for the New Year

We asked our staff for fun ways to get a fresh start for the New Year. Mouse over each picture to find out what they said.

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The FAQs of Life, Kitchen Edition

nce again, we turn to our readers to see what really matters when you are choosing a kitchen faucet. Check out some of their questions and the answers from our experts.

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Designing a Utility Room to Meet Your Needs

One of the most used rooms in the home after the bathroom and kitchen is the utility room, yet it is often the one most neglected when it comes to considering its layout and features. Whether yours is a separate laundry room, mudroom, workshop, or a simple corner in the garage or basement, a well thought-out and designed utility room can make your household tasks more efficient and enjoyable.

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Riverbend Home Renovation Interview Series: Experiences, Advice and Tips from Everyday People Volume 1

We make it a point to listen to the stories and experiences of people who are or have been active in renovating their homes. We have found their stories encouraging, helpful and informative and wanted to share some of them with our readers. We hope you draw inspiration from each as you go forth on your own renovation adventure.

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Craftsman Style, Indoors and Out

Let's take a closer look at this intriguing architectural and interior design style that has endured over a century and continues to grow in popularity across the U.S.

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Rainfall Showerhead FAQs

Rainfall showerheads feature a larger face with more spray nozzles but less water pressure than standard showerheads offering a lusher, more “rainfall” like shower experience. We get a lot of questions from customers wondering if switching to a rainfall showerhead requires renovation. See what our experts have to say.

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Breathe Easy with UV-Aire Air Purifiers

We spend a lot of our time indoors, especially in the colder, wetter winter months. The quality of the air inside our homes, offices, schools, and workplaces plays an important role in not only our comfort, but also our health.

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Victorian Style Homes

Victorian Style is a subset of Traditional Style. Strictly speaking, in the design world Victorian refers to the style and trends that existed during Queen Victoria's reign from 1837 until her death in 1901. With the use of modern appliances and technology, Victorian Style homes built today are interpretations rather than true representations of the style

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Five Crafty Ways to Keep Cool

Here are five ways to make your lazy summer day just a little bit cooler, including a yummy frozen snack. All are simple to do with minimal expense and fuss, but they'll yield hours of fun. By the way, these keep cool crafts and projects are not just for kids!

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An Energy Efficient Home with a Unique Approach

Gary and Gail Sloan are true pioneers in our collective search for a better way to interact with our planet. They have built a revolutionary energy efficient home in Ashland, Massachusetts entirely out of a material not often associated with home construction: concrete.

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ADA By Any Other Name

The future of exterior and interior home design is clear: many of us will stay at home as we age, and multiple generations will be sharing space. This means that we will see more and more spaces designed for users with varied ability levels and needs.

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There's No Place Like Home: Make Your House a Staycation Destination

Need to escape and unwind from the daily grind? You don't need to take a trip away from home in order to enjoy a well-earned vacation. If you can't get away or just want to have a feel-good vibe anytime, you can revamp your humble abode and create a dream destination right in the comfort of your own home.

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Steamist Total Sense Spa System

Showers continue to replace bathtubs in master bathrooms. One way to preserve the luxurious and relaxing feel of a bathtub is to incorporate steam into your bathroom design. The Steamist Total Sense Spa System has everything you need to turn your shower into a luxurious retreat.

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Home Improvement Month: Kitchen Faucet Update

Want an instant kitchen update? It's amazing how much impact you can have by simply changing out your faucets. In honor of Home Improvement Month, here is the story of our recent adventure.

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Five Reasons You'll Really Use Your Pot Filler Faucet

If you are on the fence about including a pot filler faucet in your kitchen design, consider some of the not-so-obvious benefits of installing this handy kitchen faucet.

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Demystifying the Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Because of the popularity of stainless steel as a kitchen sink material, you can find a stainless steel kitchen sink in a wide range of prices, sizes and styles. However, the differences between types of stainless can be a bit of a mystery until you learn a few simple facts.

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Installing a Faucet with Speed Connect Makes It Easy

American Standard to the rescue! The company describes its solid brass Speed Connect Drain as “the pre-assembled drain that makes American Standard the easiest brand bathroom faucet to install.”

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That's What Kitchen Sinks Are Made Of

Stainless steel is arguably the most popular kitchen sink material. But, did you know there a variety of other choices available?

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Savor Your Wine One Glass at a Time

Love to sample from a selection of bottles? Prefer to drink only a single glass or two at a time? Want to savor the bottle over a period of time? Now you can pour without popping the cork to ensure every glass tastes as great as the first with the Coravin wine preservation system.

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10 Kitchen Safety Tips for a Kid-Friendly Home

Keep potentially dangerous objects like knives, appliances, cleaning products, anything that can break, and even spices in places your child cannot get to. Be sure to use child locks on all cabinets and drawers within a child's reach.

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Update Your Home with Accessories

The thought of tackling a decorating project may seem a bit daunting, but don't let that stop you. It's easier than you think. Here's a few tips to get you started.

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How to Smoke Like a Pro in Your Gas Grill

Put away the bottled sauce and prepackaged rub and smoke some barbeque old school style! It takes a bit of time, but it's worth it for tender, tasty, zesty competition quality meats. Best of all, with our “Cheater's Smoke” you won't need any special gizmos or smokers, just your regular gas grill.

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Ecobee 3 Programmable Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

The Ecobee 3 takes comfortable living to a whole new level with its standalone sensors that can be placed in up to 32 rooms in your home to detect temperature and occupancy and ensure seamless comfort throughout your home.

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Five Unique Ways to Bring the Outdoors In

There's just something about summer that reignites our passion for the outdoors and makes us want to be outside all of the time. We came up with five unique ways to bring the outdoors in to at least enjoy the elements of the outdoors all of the time.

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Free Holiday Coloring Pages

Looking forward to the holidays? Here's some fun images to color to show off your artistic talents. Click the images below to download from our selection of three holiday coloring pages. Do one, do two, or do all three. So sharpen your colored pencils, get out your markers or crayons, sit down together and enjoy some family fun.

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A Quick and Budget Friendly Fix for Expanding Storage Shelf Space in a Pantry or Closet

In an effort to increase the square footage of storage in our home and on a tight budget, I decided to take a tour of our house to look for unused vertical or horizontal closet space. I was surprised at the opportunities I found.

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Five Easy Storage Ideas for Sharing a Bathroom

Trying to make the most of a shared bathroom? We recently posted some ideas for planning a small bathroom renovation, but sometimes renovating isn't an option. Here are our favorite storage ideas for sharing a bathroom—no renovation required!

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Transitional Style: Versatile and Welcoming

This synthesis of old and new has been steadily outdistancing Traditional and Contemporary styles in popularity.

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Smart Homes: High Tech Living for Today’s World

Imagine living where technology puts control of practically everything in your home right at your fingertips. A touch of a button lets you wake to your favorite music before signaling the blinds to open and let in the sun before you even get out of bed.

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Fall Activities for Kids of All Ages

Had enough pumpkins and hayrides? We thought we'd change things up with some slightly offbeat ways to enjoy fall this year.

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