High-Tech Appliance Trends From the House Beautiful Whole Home Project Concept House

(BPT) – On a tree-lined street in the Brookhaven neighborhood of Atlanta, a house built with the goal of better living through design opens its doors to the public this fall. Each space was created with comfort, peace and serenity in mind, from the decluttered entryway, to the intuitive kitchen with luxurious state-of-the-art appliances designed to easily bring healthy choices to a family’s nightly dinner and provide flexibility in food preparation, to the laundry room with (seemingly) space-age appliances that make the chore a breeze, to the fitness room that puts wellness at the heart of a family’s life.

It’s the House Beautiful Whole Home Project Concept House, a first-ever custom-built house that showcases the idea that you can to decorate your way to tranquility.

“House Beautiful’s Whole Home Project shows how your house can enhance the whole you: your energy, your peace, your happiness,” said Carisha Swanson, senior market editor, House Beautiful and Hearst Design Group. “This is the first-ever custom-built house that showcases ideas and innovations that feed happiness and drive well-being in every facet of our lives.”

Here’s a peek at impressive appliance stand-outs in the Concept House:

Kitchen:

Luxury kitchen appliance brand Signature Kitchen Suite was chosen to showcase ingenious, purposefully designed tools crafted to respect our authentic connection to food. There’s the 36-inch Built-in French Door Refrigerator, with its convertible middle drawer featuring five temperature zones to choose from, offering the easiest of ways to maintain freshness and the integrity of everything you put in it.

But the real heart of the space is the new 48-inch Dual-Fuel Pro-Range. If you’re a home chef, this range will take your breath away; but for a “Technicurean,” or someone who is passionate about cooking and innovation, it just might bring a tear to your eye. Here are the highlights of this award-winning range:

* Built-in sous vide: Once limited to the pros, sous vide is a cooking technique that utilizes precise temperature control to deliver consistent, restaurant-quality results. This is the industry’s first built-in sous vide home range. Home chefs can achieve professional-level results and capture the full, true flavor of foods.

* Power up or simmer down: Two burners can deliver 23K BTU of horsepower for better searing and quick stir-frying. Two burners simmer down to as low as 100 degrees to prepare sauces and sugary confections. All grates are dual-action for added ease.

* Two-zone induction: When the recipe calls for instant temperatures and precision control, two induction zones meet the need.

* True Combi-Steam: The 18-inch oven combines steam and convection cooking for gourmet results.

* Wi-Fi-enabled: Through the touch of a button on the Signature Kitchen Suite app for Android and iOS devices, users can enjoy the benefits of smart functionality like preheating the oven remotely.

Laundry:

Make the “Ultimate Laundry Room” that helps tackle all your laundry needs so you can wash every week and refresh every day. Running loads of laundry isn’t everyone’s favorite chore, but these new appliances from LG Electronics give it some high-tech fun, and more importantly, make the process more efficient and effective. Here are a few standouts:

* LG TWINWash System with LG Sidekick: This two-in-one powerhouse cuts up to 30 minutes off your washing time with TurboWash technology. But it’s the LG Sidekick that packs the punch. It’s a secondary mini-washer that sits beneath the main washer and is designed for small loads. Have a basket of whites with one red shirt? No problem. Pop the shirt into the Sidekick and run both loads at once – or run them separately.

* LG Styler: A first-of-its-kind steam clothing care system and the only certified as asthma and allergy friendly by Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, LG Styler reduces wrinkles and odor, sanitizes and refreshes garments with the fastest cycle on the market today – as little as 20 minutes. It’s a slim closet-like unit that uses pure steam (no chemicals!) to refresh, de-wrinkle and deodorize your clothes between cleanings. It also works with other items like bedding and sportswear. So, that raggedy old stuffed animal your toddler won’t put down … ever? Pop that into the Styler and it’ll be fresh, clean and sanitized.

Are they enabled with Wi-Fi? Oui-oui! Together, along with the companion dryer, they create the ultimate laundry room.

After the public showing, the Whole Home Project Concept House will be put up for sale. You can read all about it in House Beautiful’s November 2018 issue.

Considering a Composite Deck?

Considering a composite deck? Here are expert answers to homeowners’ most common questions.

(BPT) – When planning a deck project, choosing the right material is key to the enjoyment and value you’ll get from your outdoor living space. Today, there are more choices in decking materials than ever before, including high-performance composites, which are increasingly replacing wood in backyards across the country – and for good reason.

“Today’s homeowners want to spend their time enjoying their outdoor living spaces – rather than maintaining them,” says Leslie Adkins, vice president of marketing for residential products at Trex Company, the inventor and leading manufacturer of composite decking. “High-performance composite decking stands up to decades of weather and day-to-day usage without the burdensome sanding and staining required to maintain wood decks.”

As you weigh your options, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about composite decking:

What are the key benefits of composite decking?

Unlike wood, high-performance composite decking resists fading, scratching and mold – and won’t rot, warp, crack or splinter. Wood decking does not age gracefully, even with regular maintenance – including washing, staining and sealing that can take several days and a considerable number of materials and tools. Composites require minimal upkeep. You never need to worry about painful splinters or the laborious sanding, staining or painting – just an occasional soap-and-water cleaning will do the trick.

Does composite decking look natural?

The aesthetics of composite decking have evolved considerably over the years. Today’s offerings feature high-definition wood-grain patterns that are nearly indistinguishable from real wood textures. Additionally, composite decking comes in a wider variety of color options to complement the exterior of any home. Ranging from rich browns and warm umbers to spicy reds and pristine grays, composites are more natural than ever before and boast a vibrancy that remains unchanged without having to stain and re-stain year after year.

How do composite costs compare with wood?

Initially, composite decking costs more, board for board, than pressure-treated lumber. But rather than deteriorating over time, composite decking delivers more long-term value due to its minimal maintenance requirements. When you consider the cumulative costs of power washing, sanding, staining and painting a wood deck every season, composite decking proves a much better value over time. According to HomeAdvisor.com, maintenance for a wood deck costs an average of $540 to $1,050 per year compared with just $15 to $20 for a composite deck.

Are composite materials environmentally friendly?

Wood might be a natural material, but the chemical coatings used to protect the wood from rot and mold are not. Composite decking, on the other hand, uses few chemicals in its manufacturing and the upkeep is simple – just soap and water. Additionally, Trex decking is made from 95 percent recycled materials, including plastic film recycled from a variety of items, such as grocery bags and newspaper sleeves. The company repurposes more than 400 million pounds of plastic and wood particles annually that would otherwise end up in landfills.

What’s the difference between “capped” and “uncapped” composites?

Early generations of composite decking were “uncapped,” leaving them vulnerable to staining, fading, mold and mildew. The leading composite products available today are “capped” with a protective outer layer that is bonded to the core during the manufacturing process. This “shell” contains UV inhibitors and other ingredients to ensure the deck boards retain their aesthetics and durability. In addition to resisting fading, staining and mold, they won’t rot crack or splinter like wood and require minimal maintenance.

How to Create the Perfect, Four-Season Outdoor Living Space

(BPT) – Creating an outdoor living space will give you an extra “room” to enjoy in all types of weather, even as the temperatures drop. You can start small with an inexpensive patio set and charcoal grill on a new deck, go all out with a fully installed kitchen, fireplace and living room, or something in between. It depends on your budget and how you plan to use the space.

Here are some ideas for must-have elements in your perfect outdoor living space that will allow you to enjoy your back yard in style with family and friends all year long.

Deck

It’s the foundation of your outdoor space. Using real wood for your deck is the key to creating a natural, beautiful outdoor living space. One great option is Western Red Cedar. It’s resistant to rot, decay and insects so it lasts a long time with minimum maintenance. It’s also durable, yet surprisingly lightweight, which is one of the reasons DIYers and building professionals find it so easy to work with. It’s also a green choice. Woods such as cedar leave the smallest carbon footprint compared to any other building material.

Fire

There’s nothing cozier on a crisp night than curling up in front of the fire. Adding a fire element to your outdoor room creates the same sort of ambiance. Imagine gazing up at the sky on a dark, starry night while sitting in front of the fire and you’ve got the idea. You’ll find a wide variety to choose from, including decorative metal fire pits or bowls; chimeneas, which are earthenware or stone outdoor fireplaces; or full-blown, permanent fireplaces like you might find inside the house. Whatever you choose, the crackling fire will draw people and create a focal point for conversation and reflection. Added bonus: It will provide a heat source for chilly nights.

Outdoor Kitchen

You can go big, creating a second full kitchen alfresco with a high-end gas grill, a wood-burning pizza oven, a fridge, a sink, storage for dishes and utensils, and a countertop for prep, or you can go small, with a simple grill. Either way, it’s essential to be able to cook outside so you won’t be stuck in your home’s kitchen preparing dinner while your family and friends chat on the deck.

Furniture

A patio table and comfortable chairs are a must, as are some Adirondack or other sturdy, comfy chairs positioned around your fire source. But beyond that, think about how you’ll use the space. Does a chaise or two for lounging with a book and a cold beverage make sense? What about an outdoor sofa and chairs to create more of a living room-type feel? Whatever you choose, comfort, durability in all types of weather, and the size (not too big or too small) are prime considerations.

Shelter

In addition to the standard umbrella for your patio table, creating shelter for your outdoor space lets you enjoy it in all types of weather. The sky is the limit on your choices: a simple wood and fabric canopy to shade your seating area, a more structured gazebo complete with mosquito netting, a decorative wooden pergola, or an outdoor sunroom or solarium that attaches to your home’s exterior wall. Get some ideas for great DIY projects, be it a pergola, a Tiki bar, a cover to protect your grill (and the grillmaster) from the elements, or for less experienced DIYers, a dining table, benches and chairs, by downloading free DIY project plans at http://www.realcedar.com.

Landscaping

The final touch is the yard beyond your deck. Extend your outdoor space with a patio, create a walking path with stone pavers, or add shrubs, plants and flowers that will cycle and change with the seasons, giving your space a fresh look as the months go by.

For more information about creating your perfect outdoor living space or to download DIY plans, visit http://www.realcedar.com.

5 Steps To Building and Designing a Sustainable, Energy-Efficient Home

(BPT) – Sponsored Ad Content by Clayton. For the 21st-century home, building with environmental sustainability in mind is a must. A sustainable, energy-efficient home makes the most effective use of building materials and natural energy. Many home builders look for new ways to ensure energy-efficiency measures are incorporated into their home features and construction methods. This not only saves money in the long run for the homeowner, but also reduces the impact the home has on the environment. Are you looking to build a sustainable home? Here are some options to consider:

Smart Thermostats

For many builders, smart thermostats are the standard offer in new homes and are included in the floor plan to create energy savings over time. This smart technology can sync up with the homeowner’s mobile device to show real-time settings, goals and energy usage stats. Smart thermostats can be programmed to have set temperatures throughout the day to save energy when you’re not at home. For example, Clayton, one of the leading builders of prefabricated and site-built homes, has started including ecobee3 lite smart thermostats in all newly built prefabricated homes. ecobee is the inventor of the world’s first Wi-Fi smart thermostat and a leader in the smart home space. Smart thermostats are designed to improve comfort and efficiency, while saving homeowners on monthly utility costs and reducing their footprint on the environment.

Low-Emission Windows

Low-emission (Low-e) windows are designed with two glass panes to help block UV rays from entering the home during the day. By blocking UV rays from entering the home’s interior, the windows can help regulate the indoor temperature. Without this technology, the home’s HVAC system ends up fighting against the heat of the sun, especially during the hot summer months. Low-¬≠e windows allow less heat to enter or leave your home through your windows and reduce the light’s ability to wash out colors in home fabrics. Low-e windows can help reduce UV-¬≠induced fading of indoor furniture by as much as 75 percent, as reported by Energy.gov.

Green Building Practices

Green building practices, such as recycling and dust control, can divert several tons of landfill waste every year which has a positive impact on the environment. Efficient home construction methods that result in less construction waste help the future homebuyer save money by lowering the overall cost to construct the home. Sustainability is one of the core values of Clayton, where the company has adopted internationally recognized ISO 14001 green building standards for its home building facilities. This home builder closely monitors its waste usage and in 2017, the company was able to divert 17,476 tons of landfill waste using these green practices.

Drought-Intolerant Landscapes

It’s not just the building processes and materials that make a home sustainable. The overall landscape also makes an impact. Try methods like drip irrigation to cut down on wasteful watering. A drip irrigation system slowly drips water directly onto your lawn and garden through pipes that run along your yard.

Eco-Friendly Habits

Environmental sustainability is a lifestyle – there are many easy habits you can incorporate into your daily routine that won’t cost a dime. Simple changes like unplugging your electronics when they’re not in use, turning your thermostat down (or even replacing with a smart thermostat) and turning off the water while you brush your teeth can go a long way. Adopting habits like these is the next step to having a sustainable, energy efficient home, while keeping more money in your pocket to spend on yourself!

When you buy a home that was built with sustainability in mind, you’ll save energy while helping to protect the environment.

These eco-friendly methods will help you create a happy, healthy home. For more tips, visit claytonhomes.com.