10 Smart New Kitchen Products to Buy in 2016 Read more: http://freshome.com/new-kitchen-products-2016/#ixzz4AB6N0nZ8 Follow us: @freshome on Twitter | freshome on Facebook

The new year is the perfect time for a fresh start. Why not start with the kitchen? Kitchen innovations are always popping up on the market, so we scoured the web to find the latest, smartest kitchen products, from fun conversation starters to functional tools you won’t believe you ever lived without.

Here are 10 new kitchen products that will give you a smart start in 2016.

coffee machine fridge door

A Fridge That Makes Coffee

GE’s Café Series refrigerators incorporate a Keurig K-Cup Brewing System in the door dispenser, allowing single-serve coffee at the touch of a button. The magic fridges come in French door or side-by-side models.

cinnibird spice coffee pen

Latte Art Pen

The CinniBird spice pen allows you to add personalized art to your home-brewed latte. Want a great gift for Valentine’s Day? Penning romantic sayings in your significant other’s cup of coffee (or dessert plate) could certainly spice up your love life.

smarter coffee pot wifi

You can make Smarter Coffee via your smartphone or tablet. Image: Business 2 Community

Wi-Fi Coffee Maker

Programmable coffee pots are nothing new. But how many times have you gone to bed at night forgetting to set the timer and fill the coffee pot, ensuring you have a hot cup first thing in the morning without having to do anything?

The Smarter Coffee machine seems to have solved this dilemma. This Wi-Fi-enabled coffeemaker runs via your smartphone or tablet while you’re still in bed; it even grinds the coffee beans. Alas, it’s available only in Europe. For those of us in the U.S., the Mr. Coffee Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Coffeemaker will do the trick via the free WeMo app.

Food Prep Pad

A new year often brings resolutions; for many, those include eating more healthfully. Whether you are looking to lose weight or simply improve your overall health, keeping track of what you eat plays an important role.

The Orange Chef Prep Pad works with your iPad or iPhone to serve as not only a digital scale, but also a nutritional guide. It has a “food library” of more than 300,000 items, and gives you the breakdown of calories, fat, protein and carbs.


prep pad food scale

slow cooker

Smart Egg Tray

Even the person who has everything probably doesn’t have the Quirky Egg Minder. Fill the tray with eggs (it holds up to 14), pop it in your refrigerator and connect it to your smartphone, and the Wink app will let you know when you’re low on eggs and whether they’re going bad. Sure, you could just look in the fridge — but where’s the fun in that?

smart app for egg storage

Wine Preserver

While some of us finish a bottle of wine in one sitting, others prefer to sip more slowly. The EuroCave Wine Art stores one or two open bottles of wine at the ideal serving temperature for up to 10 days, keeping it as fresh and fragrant as the day you opened it.



wine storage

Air-‘Fried’ Cooker

Now you can enjoy “fried” food without breaking your New Year’s resolution. The Philips Airfryer gives you that crispy, crunchy texture you love without all the fat — only a spritz of oil is required. You don’t have to sacrifice the texture of your favorite fried foods, and they won’t ruin your diet: win-win!

air fryer cooking tool

Charging Station

If you plan to change up your kitchen in 2016, consider adding a charging station. For many, the perfect spot is integrated into the kitchen island, allowing you to charge your electronics all in one location without the hassle of cords.

iPort’s LaunchPort serves as a docking and charging station

kitchen charging station

serves as a docking and charging station for your iPad. The base station fits on your kitchen counter; a wall-mount version also is available. Both give you easy access to your tablet while you cook, especially handy for those who who use their tablets as recipe cards.

Collect this ideakitchen tablet

Speaking of tablets in the kitchen, you no longer have to worry about getting food or liquids on yours. The Sony Xperia Tablet Z Kitchen Edition is designed to hold up to spills and greasy hands. In fact, Sony says it can be submerged for up to 30 minutes without being damaged.

The tablet is preloaded with food and cooking apps as well as recipes from Saveur magazine. It also comes with a wireless Bluetooth meat thermometer, so your iGrill app will let you know when your roast is ready.

We hope these new kitchen products will give you a smart start in 2016. Please let us know if you try any of them!

Read more: http://freshome.com/new-kitchen-products-2016/#ixzz4ABB6bl5J
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14 Awesome Garden Bed Edgings You Can DIY


Pure creativity!

Using wired together antique metal wheels to make a bed edging is unquestionably a surefire way to create a unique garden! Unleash your creativity! A unique DIY bed edging can add tons of visual interest, charm, and personality to any garden. Plus, an eye-catching border will definitely highlight the beauty of your plants!










Photo: Credit

7 Repairs That Will Increase the Value of Your Home

While purchasing a house may mostly be about having a place to call “home,” it can also be seen as a lifetime investment. Making a few repairs—and even some cost-effective renovations—can not only skyrocket your home’s value, but can make it a more enjoyable place to live. We tapped into our network of Pros to uncover seven of the most valuable repairs you can make for the long term, whether or not you plan to sell in the future.

1. Fix Up the Exterior

As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, whether it’s with your new neighbor or a future buyer. Repairing any broken doors, damaged screens, or cracks in your front walk can really make a difference. You might want to consider having your siding pressure-washed, your trim repainted, or your landscaping spruced up.

2. Repair the Roof

Having a roof over your head is a moot point if that roof is in need of repair. A roofing contractor can make quick work of damaged or missing shingles, clogged gutters and detached flashing. While you’re at it, schedule a chimney cleaning—when’s the last time you had your flue inspected and swept? (Hint: You ought to have this done once a year.)

(Credit: Ruta Saulyte-Laurinaviciene/Shutterstock)
(Credit: Ruta Saulyte-Laurinaviciene/Shutterstock)

3. Address Plumbing Issues

If the roof doesn’t leak, neither should the plumbing. Hire a plumber to fix those slow drains, dripping faucets and poorly functioning water heater. Keep in mind that you may benefit most from installing a completely new water heater, especially if yours is 10 to 15 years old or more.

(Credit: Chalermchai Chamnanyon/Shutterstock)

4. Improve Interior Walls

If you’re looking to sell your home, you want a potential buyer to be able to visualize living in your home. And while you might love your unique color scheme (we don’t judge), you may want to consider painting your walls a more neutral palette. Ask your painter to patch any holes and sand down the walls while they’re at it to get the best effect.

(Credit: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock)

5. Replace the Flooring

Do you have scratched or buckling hardwood floors, outdated vinyl tiles from the 1970s, or carpet so dirty you can’t remember the original color? One of the fastest and easiest ways to reinvigorate your home is to replace the flooring. With so many options today—stain-resistant carpet, wood-look vinyl flooring,  eco-friendly bamboo or cork—you’re sure to find a floor that you and future owners will love.

(Credit: photobank.ch/Shutterstock)

6. Renovate the Kitchen

You’ve probably heard it before: The kitchen sells the home. This adage is absolutely true, so if you’re looking for a larger renovation, start with the kitchen. New appliances, refaced cabinetry and stone countertops are a few of the most popular kitchen modifications that will help increase the value of your home.

(Credit: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock)

View photos

(Credit: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock)

7. Update the Bathrooms

If your bathrooms look like they belong in the 1980s, it’s time for an update. You can go as low- or high-budget as you like, so talk to your contractor about where to spend your renovation budget to get the biggest impact. New fixtures and updated tile could be all it takes to bring your bathroom into the 21st century.

(Credit: Iriana Shiyan/Shutterstock)


Pro.com is a website founded in 2013 by service industry entrepreneurs and former Amazon executives to simplify home services — especially research on contractor fees and qualifications.

Related from Pro.com:
8 Tips for Staying Sane During a Home Renovation
6 Types of Fences to Frame Your Home
Top 10 Kitchen Island Trends

The top renovations to boost your home’s value

The top renovations to boost your home’s value

‘Million Dollar Contractor’ star Stephen Fanuka offers home renovation tips to boost the value of your home.

This is Home. This is Where Awesomeness Happens



See how every day moments at home are why home is where awesomeness happens.

How do you begin to define what home means? It’s a nearly impossible task because home is different to each person. For some it’s a shelter. Others it’s an escape from the world. For most it’s a place of laughter, food, entertainment and so much more. Home is where many of life’s “firsts” occur. First steps. First pet. First party. First game of catch. Maybe home is even the place you had your first kiss?

Home is the soundtrack to our lives that plays every moment the most monumental to the minuscule. Whether they be great or small, when put together these memories assemble a chorus of hope and love, tears and joy, that we treasure for a lifetime.

At Coldwell Banker, we’ve been champions of home longer than any other real estate brand, and our marketing has set out to recreate these moments at home in the most realistic way possible. But this year, we’re embarking on our most authentic campaign yet.

Instead of casting calls and staged sets, we’ve put down our cameras and asked everyday people to pick up theirs. Our campaign called “This is Home. This is Where Awesomeness Happens” celebrates these ordinary, micro-moments that shape the house we call home. From baby belly laughs to telling your mom you’re pregnant to the hilarious antics of our four-legged family members, the “Awesomeness” campaign celebrates home as we know it best – through the eyes of everyday life.

Since home is the soundtrack of our lives, we want your voice to be heard. Below you can cast your vote for one of three songs that could be the theme for the ad called “This is Home” which showcases a variety of these moments of awesomeness that can only happen at home. Voting is open through May 31, 2016 and the winning song will run as the official soundtrack for the campaign.

If you have a moment of awesomeness at home, use the hashtag #HomeIsAwesomeness to share it with us on Twitter

Spring Home Health Check-Up: Three Areas to Examine Now

Untitled design (10)

A step-by-step home check-up guide to find warning signs and advice on how to repair them.

By David Baur, Product Manager, GCP Applied Technologies

Spring is here! Time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. It is also the ideal time to do a home health check-up, inspecting what winter left behind.

So, what are the three key areas of your home to examine and what do you look for? We have you covered from roof to deck. Follow this step-by-step home check-up guide to find warning signs and advice on how to repair them.

Roof: You’ve probably never thought about it, but your roof has to battle a lot of enemies: ultraviolet rays, rain, wind, snow and ice. But the good news is most new shingle roofs are designed to last about 20 years. Slate roofs and some types of tile and metal roofs can last even longer. The actual life span of your roof is determined by several factors, including environmental conditions, material quality, proper application and regular roof maintenance.

Warning Signs: How do you know when your roof is in trouble? Look for these warning signs:


  • Shingles that are warped, blistered, missing or torn
  • Shingles covered in moss or algae, which hold moisture and encourage rot
  • Loose material or wear around chimneys, pipes and other penetrations
  • Overhanging tree branches that could gouge the roof in a strong wind
  • Excessive debris (leaves, dirt, ice, roofing granules) in the gutters or downspouts, which block drainage


  • Ceiling spots or leaks
  • Cracked paint
  • Discolored plasterboard
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Mold, mildew or rot in the walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems
  • In the attic, look for signs of water infiltration such as staining, dampness, or mold growing on insulation/sheathing/rafters A poorly ventilated attic that shows signs of moisture, which promotes the roof’s decay. Sufficient attic ventilation can be achieved by installing larger or additional vents

Repairs Needed?

If repairs are needed, don’t skimp on quality to save a few cents. Much of the damage associated with serious storms results from water entering the home when roof coverings or siding is blown off. This is why it is imperative that you have a secondary layer of waterproofing protection underneath the shingles and siding. If proper protection measures are not taken, the resulting leaks are the main cause of interior damage, as well as potential causes of rot and mold. Rot and mold can lead to major structural damage and even potential health problems for homeowners.

Use Underlyaments: FEMA has published recommendations for the use of fully-adhered roofing underlayments, such as Grace Ice & Water Shield®, as an enhanced secondary water barrier for homes. In the event roof coverings are blown off or water manages to get underneath your shingles, these underlayments are the key to preventing water infiltration.

Windows & Doors: Beyond the roof, a home’s doors and windows can also become major leak zones. Even if the windows and doors are well shuttered in a storm, wind-driven rain can be blown into the house at these points, especially if they have not been properly flashed and weatherproofed.

Warning Signs: How do you know when your doors and windows are in trouble? The following are some signs of water damage:

Inside & Outside:

  • Leaks or breaks in seams around window trim and sills
  • Uneven doorframes
  • Discolored plasterboard
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Chipped or cracked stucco finishes
  • Mold, mildew, or rot in the walls, insulation, and electrical systems
  • Missing, cracked, or blistered paint inside the home

Repairs Needed?

Use Flashing: Flashing is a critical part of your home’s weather barrier system. If not properly selected and installed, wind-driven rain, ice and snow, can leak and quickly cause damage to your home. Flexible flashings such as GCP Applied Technologies’Vycor® Plus can be used to seal the most vulnerable spots, including windows, doors, corner boards, and other non-roof detail areas. It is designed to work in severe winter climates, milder climates, and in coastal areas where wind driven rain is common.

Deck: Last but not least, check the deck.A deck is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors in the warmer weather. But, if your deck is not protected against the extreme weather, it can deteriorate and become unsafe. Decks, fences and other wood products should be routinely weatherproofed and cleaned to maximize their useful life. Weather combined with the treatment chemicals used for today’s pressure treated lumber means that the modern deck must be proper constructed to hold up.

Warning Signs: How do you know when your deck is in trouble? Look for these warning signs:

  • Warped boards
  • Cracked or split boards
  • Debris that is “clogging up” space between deck boards
  • Look under the deck for corroded joist hangers and other connectors
  • Soft wood
  • Mold and mildew

Repairs Needed?

Use a Protective Barrier: Even with today’s treated and high-tech decking products–which look great and last and last–preventing joist rot and decay, as a result of water accumulation under the decking boards, remains a major problem. Vycor Deck Protector® is a unique solution to significantly extend the useful life of decks. Vycor Deck Protector® helps prevent joist rot and decay and decrease the corrosion rate of connectors and fasteners.

By inspecting these three areas of your home and correcting any damage with the best materials, you will ensure your home will live longer. Not to mention your wallet will be happy too! Now, put on those shades and head out to enjoy the spring & summer activities with peace of mind!

David Baur is Product Manager at GCP Applied Technologies, formerly known as Grace Construction Products. He has step by step tips for homeowners, contractors and builders on building homes for extreme weather.

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Curb Appeal Week: How To Refresh Flower Beds


Goodbye weeds, hello mulch and voila you’ve got gorgeous flower beds!

It’s day three of Curb Appeal Week and by now we hope you have realized just how easy it is to get your yard looking gorgeous with help from our friends at Scotts®, Miracle-Gro®, Ortho® and Roundup®.

Spring is a time where our senses are woken from their winter slumber from the smell of fresh cut lawn, sight of blooming flowers, sounds of birds happily chirping,  and feel of a lush lawn between our toes there is nothing that can quite compare. Here are just two more ways to get your garden looking fabulous.

Tip 1: Mulch for a Fresh, Clean Look

SCOTTS® NATURE SCAPES® COLOR ENHANCED MULCH keeps your garden or landscape looking fresh with year-long color, guaranteed! A three-inch layer of mulch naturally prevents weeds by blocking growth and access to sunlight.  It also helps the soil retain moisture.

“One of the easiest ways to enhance the beauty and performance of any garden or landscape bed is by applying mulch.  Mulching adds rich color and a manicured look to your landscape.” – Phil Dwyer, Scientist at ScottsMiracle-Gro.

Tip 2: Kill Weeds in your Flower Beds

ROUNDUP® SURE SHOT WAND helps kill your weeds in 3 easy steps without the hassle of hand pulling. Step 1. Reach: Sure Shot Wand extends 2 feet so there is no more bending over. Step 2. Target: Protective shield fits over the weeds to help contain the spray and protect nearby flowers and plants from damage. Step 3. So Long Weeds: Roundup®branded products kill weeds to the roots so they don’t come back.

Find more curb appeal project ideas from Scotts®, Miracle-Gro®, Ortho® and Roundup® here. 

Always read and follow label directions.  Roundup, Roundup & design, Sure Shot Wand and FastAct are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC.  (C) 2015 Monsanto Company, worldwide rights reserved.

14 Small Towns In Washington Where Everyone Knows Your Name

There’s something comforting about being part of a small, tight-knit community where you can be greeted at the bank and grocery store by name. While there are plenty of places to go in Washington where you can remain anonymous, there are also some charming small towns where you’ll become part of the family. If you’d like to get to know your neighbors, one of these places might be right for you.

Do you live in a town with a lot of familiar faces?

Jessica Wick
Jessica Wick is a freelance writer and content strategist who loves exploring new places, meeting new people and, of course, Big Sky Country.

How to Arrange a Room When Entertaining



Successfully throwing a get together in your home isn’t just about the food and drinks, you want to make sure your guests mingle and enjoy each other’s company just as much as they enjoy those hors d’oeuvres.

In our latest ‘Home Tip of the Day‘, we share a simple and possibly overlooked way you can encourage your guests to converse more freely while at your home.

Believe it or not, the layout of a room can have an impact on how your guests mingle. Here’s how to encourage a natural flow of conversation at your next get-together.

5 Ways to Make Your Cramped Outdoor Space Feel Like Versailles

These backyard ideas will make your small space seem BIGGER.

Don’t think of your microscopic yard as a curse. So what if it’s technically a small concrete slab that baaarely accommodates a half-sized Weber grill? Or if your flagstone patio is just big enough for you, a lounge chair, and a good book? Your tiny outdoor spot is actually an opportunity to get creative.

To live large with a small footprint, try these functional tweaks to make your minuscule outdoor space feel like a palatial retreat.

1. Divide the Space

Wait, what? That’s right. Even if your square footage is relatively small, dividing your outdoor space into two areas can actually make it seem bigger.

“Creating a space within a space makes it seem larger because it gives you a separate experience,” says Joy Diaz, chief marketing officer at Land Care Inc.

Diaz recommends a small wood pergola, which you can purchase at home improvement stores or even build yourself without too much effort. You can also use walls to divide the space. We’re not talking about bulky concrete barriers here — try using short trellises, arbors, or vine-covered wooden fences to separate your loungers from your patio table.

“It says, ‘I’m in one place, that’s another place, and if there’s room for two places it must be big,’” says J. Scott Williams, a landscape architect at YardApes in New Milford, Conn.

As an added bonus, walls prevent visitors from walking in a straight line from one end of the patio to another, instead creating a winding path that makes your small space feel expansive.

2. Plant a Privacy Screen

A peaceful space always feels roomier than one crowded with noise and other distractions — like the pressure to strike up an awkward conversation every time you lock eyes with the nice lady next door. Keep your evening soirées and morning coffee blissfully secluded with a few cleverly positioned plants.

There are a few ways to achieve this goal. Along the very edges of your space, plant a tall, wide bush, like the purple smoke bush, a fantastic, easy-to-care-for container plant that can grow six or seven feet every year. Just be sure to keep on top of trimmings to keep it from overgrowing your patio — you want it growing up, not out — but as long as you do so, it makes an excellent privacy screen.

“A larger plant in a small space is dramatic,” says Williams.

You can also privatize your patio without sacrificing any square footage with the oldest trick in the book: Install some climbing vines on a trellis to clearly tell your neighbors, “This is my special space.”

3. Add a Water Feature

A dramatic focal point can really add some intrigue to a mini yard. And a water feature, like a bubbling birdbath or wall fountain, can do just the trick.

Williams suggests choosing an element with a black bottom, which will create a darker surface that reflects sky and trees, making your outdoor space feel bigger. Just make sure your water feature doesn’t overwhelm your porch — you can skip the long, vanishing edge-style pool.

“I wouldn’t put a longer element in a small space, which might make it look smaller,” Williams said. “Add a smaller water element into a small space, and make it seem larger.”

4. Use Vertical Space

Vertical planter in a back yardImage: Deborah Silver, photo/Barry Harrison of Art | Harrison, design

Distract from your lack of horizontal yardage by really maximizing your outdoor space’s most abundant dimension: vertical space.

Use your walls, fence, or railings as extra space by adding vines or a living wall filled with flowers, herbs, and other eye-catching greenery. For a simple change, prop an attractive ladder — think barnyard chic, maybe? — against the wall and use its rungs as shelving for plants or other decor. The internet is bursting with other vertical planter and shelving ideas, too, using everything from pallets to chicken wire.

“It draws the eye up and outwards, and gives it a green and completely different look,” says Diaz. “It can change the atmosphere of the area. You’ve walked into a different experience from your home — it’s a psychological and emotional change.”

5. Expand Space with a Mirror

“Mirrors really make space feel more expansive,” Williams says. On a small porch, place a tall mirror on the ground behind a portico or a patch of greenway, which “makes it look like a doorway into another garden.”

You don’t need to go huge on the mirror to have a huge impact. Even hanging a normal-sized mirror, like one you might find over a dresser, can make a tiny space feel much larger. But whichever you choose, make sure to weatherproof your mirror first using a mirror edge sealer (you’ll also want to add sealant to the frame, especially if it’s made from wood) to prevent moisture damage — unless you like the weathered look, that is.

Small spaces don’t have to be limiting. With a little bit of creativity — and perhaps a reflective surface or two — there’s no reason you can’t feel like you’re living in your very own Versailles.

Related: Small-Space Storage Hacks from Desperate New Yorkers

How to Restore a Deck Follow the prep instructions carefully and paint on a specialty coating to preserve weathered boards for years to come MARK POWERSTHIS OLD HOUSE MAGAZINE