Home security and automation are rarely mentioned in the same sentence as the word cheap, but it’s totally possible if you’re willing to do a few things yourself. We checked out a $200 DIY kit called Ninja Blocks, and were able to get a home automation and security system up and running in about 10 minutes.
Get a kitchen that fits your lifestyle and your design tastes with these guidelines from an architect
What’s the most important room in your house? For me it’s the kitchen. I love to eat, cook and spend time with family, and the kitchen is where I can do it all. With today’s busy schedules, mealtimes are often the only times families have to spend with one another. So how can you have the perfect kitchen for your lifestyle, stay within your budget and maximize resale value?
One of the most important steps in any project is starting with a great design. It’s not just about looks, it’s more about function and adding value to your life. More than any other room in the house, a kitchen has to be well thought out, carefully configured and designed to accommodate multiple functions. You probably spend more time in your kitchen than any other room, and that’s exactly why it’s so important to start with a great design. Consider these seven ways to get there.
1. Avoid isolation. For many of today’s families, the kitchen is the heart of the home and should be a place where people can gather, entertain and relax — not just cook. That’s why an open plan, like in this kitchen, works so well.
The open plan isn’t your only option, but it isn’t going anywhere yet. Consider your family’s needs carefully before choosing a kitchen plan, and know that if resale is an option for you, most buyers these days are looking for an open kitchen.
2. Plan a functional layout. If you like to cook and enjoy making meals for family and friends, there is nothing more frustrating than a kitchen that doesn’t function well. Most designs today follow the basic kitchen work triangle of the sink, refrigerator and range to maximize functionality. But take your own needs into account too. Plenty of counter space for prep, especially next to appliances, like in this kitchen, can make your cooking routine go much more smoothly.
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Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which reports that they accounted for more than 150,000 home fires and $794 million in damages in 2012.
Do you know how to stay fire-safe when you’re cooking in the kitchen?
Put your knowledge to the test. See if you can spot the fire hazards in the infographic.
Then click here for the answers, and some more helpful kitchen fire safety tips.
The bathroom is one of the only rooms in a multibodied household where we’re expected and encouraged to lock ourselves inside. With that kind of permission, it makes sense to use this private space as a luxurious sanctuary. Make the most of your haven by giving it the proper lighting.
I spoke with two lighting experts about how best to transform a bathroom into a relaxing, functional refuge with light. Here’s their advice.
Oodles of time and research go into designing corporate workspaces, but home offices are different. People creating office spaces for themselves usually don’t have access to all of the studies that have been done to determine what design aspects allow them to work best.
Research from the social and physical sciences has shown that anyone can create a home office that allows for more productivity. Try these 7 tips to see if they work for you.
The right heating system depends on your home’s size, the location and the existing infrastructure. A professional HVAC contractor can help you make an informed decision based on your unique needs. Here’s an infographic from comfort24-7.com
Imagine a world where every night whenever a family goes to bed, they press a button and 2 ton steel walls close down over their entire house; where everyone has their own personal police officer living in their basement to be sure everything is always alright; and where people are equal, thus, having nothing that others could covet. This world sounds safe, but at a very high and controlling cost.
Now imagine a world where all there is to protect a family is a small steel bar in a wooden door, or a glass window, where the police take at least 15 minutes to respond to a call, and where there are millions of men and women who do not have anything and feel the need to rob for drugs, money or sheer thrill. This world sounds more easy going, but also potentially scary.
It would be agreed that the second scenario is the world today, and everything goes alright, until something goes wrong. Luckily, with home security systems people are able to feel as if they are that much closer to existing in the top scenario. As soon as anything goes wrong in a residence the security alarm goes off, an office is called to immediately phone the police, and the criminal breaking in will generally leave from fear. Any individual who is hoping for steel doors, and in-house policemen should consider this option, because it is one of the safest and most realistic ones available.