(BPT) - Teenagers are at a point in their life where they are looking to make their own mark and find their own space. You want to give it to them, but as you start considering renovation ideas, how do you create a space your teen will appreciate?
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America knows all about satisfying the needs of teenagers from all walks of life, and since 2009, they have partnered with Lowe's to renovate clubs to ensure they are safe and inspiring places for youth. In 2016, the two organizations expanded their partnership with Renovation Across the Nation, a $2.5 million initiative to renovate one club in each of the 50 states. This year the program will provide $50,000 each to 50 additional clubs — one in each state.
Many clubs that receive this money use it to update their facilities for today’s teens so they have a desirable place to spend time after school. As they plan for the renovations, they get input from teen members and have learned some helpful insights about what teens look for in their own space. You can use these tips as well in your own home renovation project to create a space your teen will love.
* Make it a colorful, distinct area. Teens desire their own space where they can retreat and feel inspired. Paint the room with bright, vibrant colors that add a youthful vibe and select accessories with pops of color you can swap out as their tastes or trends change.
* Incorporate creativity. Giving teens access to items like art supplies, camera equipment and musical instruments encourages them to tap into their passions. Pay attention to what they’re interested in and make sure it has a place in their new space.
* Technology is key. Teens are used to having technology at their fingertips. Flat screens, charging stations and computers are tools that help them explore the future and are key to inspiring innovation. Find ways to infuse new technology, such as mood lighting, into the space to make it feel extra comfortable and cool for your teen.
* Create an environment for studying. Teens need a space that helps them focus on studying. Warm lighting and comfy chairs or bean bags help create a quiet, welcoming space for them to relax and learn. Create a homework station and your teen will have everything they need to stay organized and focused on their studies.
* Design a space they'll want to share with friends. As you're designing your space for your teen, be mindful of them inviting other teens over as well. If the space can easily handle multiple teenagers, it will be a place that can help them build new friendships or strengthen existing ones. At Boys & Girls Clubs, long tables encourage group activities, but in your teen's space it could be as simple as extra seating for their friends.
Creating a great space for your teen is possible by focusing on what makes them unique. Make the space personal and functional with these five tips, and you’ll create a space that your teenager, and their friends, can’t wait to enjoy.
To learn more about the Renovation Across the Nation grants program and in-store donation opportunities to support Boys & Girls Clubs of America at Lowe’s stores, visit BGCA.org. To find products and materials to renovate a room for your teen, visit Lowes.com.
(BPT) - The garage – it’s that space where you used to just store your car, lawn mower, power tools, bikes, bats and boxes of things you wore in the 90s. But to say a garage is only for storage is like saying a truck is only for hauling dressers and box springs.
From game room to workshop, man cave to hangout — your garage has the potential to be anything you want it to be. So if you’re thinking of redecorating or remodeling your house, don’t spend all your time picking out kitchen tile and arguing over what type of counter looks best — step into your garage and let yourself dream big.
With the right materials, some creativity and a little work, you can turn your garage into the star of the house. How? TV personality and award-winning interior designer Anitra Mecadon offers the following five ideas to get you excited about all the possibilities.
Toughen up your walls
No matter what you want to do with your garage, first make sure your walls can stand up to real life. There’s probably no space in the house more susceptible to scratches, scuffs and accidental holes than the garage — so pick your walls accordingly. Look for PURPLE Hi-Impact XP made by National Gypsum for extra wear and tear to resist everything from car doors opened too close to the wall to the hockey sticks swung a little too hard. This drywall is embedded with fiberglass mesh to make it impact and penetration resistant — and like all PURPLE drywall, it resists moisture, mold and mildew.
Make your garage your hideaway
Sometimes you need to get away from it all — especially from your “honey do” or project list — and the garage can be where you go, your hangout, an extension of yourself and a definite point of pride. Add a snack machine, fridge, swivel chair or two and big screen TV, and you and your friends will have it made.
Lift it up
Most people have a lot of stuff to store in the garage in addition to cars, tools and bikes. And let’s face it, the more available space you have, the more likely you’ll find stuff to fill it. That means you’ll need to get creative with storage. In addition to shelves and cabinets attached to the walls, another way to store your stuff is to use a raised lift system which retracts up into the top levels of your garage and comes down with a push of a button when you need something.
Hang it up
There are some things that just don’t belong in your house but are perfect for the garage. Just like restaurants that have walls crowded with collectibles such as old soda signs, sea anchors and license plates — garages can follow this same design concept and personalize a space even more. Walls also can serve as anchors for storage systems that hold your tools, bikes, boxes and equipment. And you can rest assured that high-performing drywall, like PURPLE Hi-Impact XP, will stand up to the wear and tear of hanging up and taking down your tools, rakes, bikes and more, day after day.
Do more with your floor
Today, garage floors can be anything you want — yellow, red, metallic, acid-washed or made out of heavy-duty vinyl or rubber. And whether you want the grey concrete vintage look of your childhood or something that reflects your more grown-up self, when it comes to garage floors, take a chance and get inventive, because your garage can be your personal and customized sanctuary.
There’s a lot you can do with a modern garage, and no matter how you decide to personalize it, the best garage remodel starts at the studs. The right drywall is as important as the right wrench in the toolbox. To learn more, visit www.askforpurple.com
Converting to a smart home may seem like an intimidating task, but breaking the process into manageable steps makes it easier to choose and install the best smart devices for your home and lifestyle. You can begin turning your house into a smart home by following these simple steps, such as setting a budget, brainstorming ideas for each room and prioritizing what you install – such as a garage door upgrade kit or opener.
Starting Your Smart Home Transformation
(Family Features) With the aid of modern technology, it’s now possible to convert virtually any ordinary house into a smart home filled with features that make daily tasks more convenient. These technologies allow for greener living, customization of your living space to personal tastes and the peace of mind that you can control key home systems with your smartphone.
Converting to a smart home may seem like an intimidating task at first, but if you break the process into manageable steps you’ll find it’s not so hard to choose and install the best smart devices for your home and lifestyle. You can begin turning your house into a smart home by following these three simple steps.
Set a budget.
How much money you’ll ultimately spend to create your smart home depends on numerous factors: the size of your home, number of systems and appliances you wish to automate and the level of integration you desire are significant considerations. Assuming that your home is already wired for a high-performance broadband connection, you can get into the smart home game for under $100 with a thermostat that you can manage remotely. On the other hand, adding smart-home technology throughout the whole house will likely cost in the thousands.
Pay attention to the levels of integration various products offer. Purchasing products from brands that partner with many other smart-home device makers will help ensure the products you add in the future will work with those you install now. Selecting highly integrated products will save you time during the installation process, help you avoid unnecessary expenses down the road and improve your overall smart-home experience.
Brainstorm ideas for each room.
Go room to room in your home and think about the activities that occur in each space. Consider which of these can become easier or more enjoyable with the support of smart technology. The living room, where you likely have a host of entertainment and audio equipment, offers plenty of obvious benefits, but also look at the kitchen, for example. Did you forget to start the dishwasher on your way out the door? Initiating a wash cycle remotely will let you come home to dishes clean and ready for dinner.
Prioritize what you install.
Opening and closing the garage door is so much a part of your daily routine that it is often hard to remember if you closed it on the way out. Products such as the Chamberlain MyQ Garage upgrade kit, or Chamberlain garage door openers with built-in MyQ technology, put peace of mind in the palm of your hand. This technology allows you to control and check the status of your garage door from anywhere, at any time, so you know if your garage was left open or if it’s being opened while you’re not there. The innovative technology works with numerous smart-device brands and their devices, such as NEST thermostats and Xfinity home security products. Learn more at chamberlain.com.
With the all-important lead-in to your home covered, you can turn attention to devices that help manage your home’s operation and efficiency. Thermostats that auto adjust to designated climate settings are a popular option for many homeowners because they bring immediate returns in reducing your overall energy usage. Irrigation systems and power management products are also wise investments when it comes to optimizing your home’s use of natural resources.
Stepping across the threshold to a smart home may feel like a big step, but once you get settled and experience the convenience and control, you’ll likely find yourself exploring ways to incorporate smart technology every place you can.
Smart Devices for Every Room
The number of devices that can be integrated into a smart home is growing at an accelerated rate, but not all are complex gadgets and gizmos. Some of the simpler options for every room in your home include:
Living Room: Outlet Adapters
Walk into your home late at night and flip on the lights, the TV or both without searching in the dark for a switch or remote. After your smart outlet adapter is plugged into the wall, appliances can be plugged into the adapter and controlled from a smartphone.
Bedroom: Motorized Drapes
Adding motorized drapes to your bedroom allows for an easy way to adjust lighting and privacy – all without leaving the comfort of your bed. Properly adjusting drapes, which is easy to do with smartphone control, can also help manage energy consumption by regulating solar heat.
Kitchen: Coffee Maker
Wake up to your favorite morning beverage without drowsily scooping and pouring. A smart coffee maker can make the right amount of coffee at just the right time through simple settings on your smartphone.
Garage: Remote Garage Door Access
Open, close and monitor your garage door anywhere, anytime, with MyQ technology from Chamberlain. With remote access to one of the main entry points to your home, you can ensure the garage door is shut when you’re out or ready to open when you return.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
Take this year’s outdoor enjoyment to a new level with items designed to keep you and your fellow revelers safe and ready for food and fun.
Fun in the Sun
Backyard essentials for a summer outdoors
(Family Features) From a leisurely afternoon watching the kids play in the sprinkler to an evening cookout with friends under the stars, it’s the perfect time of year to bask in the comfort and beauty of your own backyard. Take this year’s outdoor enjoyment to a new level with items designed to keep you and your fellow revelers safe and ready for food and fun.
Savor the Flavors of Summertime
Help Your Skin Recover After Too Much Sun
Be Prepared for Burns, Bites and Scrapes
Keep Hot Summer Parties on Ice
Grill Up Some Goodness
Serveware with a Purpose
Photo courtesy of Getty Images(three photos: people at party, cooler, and grill)
(BPT) - The kids are off to college or living in homes of their own, and you have regained a big chunk of your house. It's time to indulge and transform your home with a space especially designed for you.
If you have been dreaming of a "boomer cave" - a place where you can get away to relax, watch TV or read - now is the perfect time to make it a reality. Creating a cozy "getaway" room in your house to relax doesn't require any special home improvement skills or interior design panache. Simply follow a few steps and get ready to celebrate with friends and family.
Step 1: Upgrade the TV
The piece de resistance of any empty nester's boomer cave is the television. It doesn't matter what program you're passionate about - a grand television will be the focal point of the room. Whether a gift to yourself or a gift to your partner, a quality TV is a worthwhile investment.
Compare options to find the perfect cave-worthy model. LG's new SUPER UHD TVs feature the latest technologies - including stunning 4K Ultra HD resolution, high dynamic range (HDR) and a wide color gamut for an impressive picture. Because these are the only TVs that support two formats for HDR content, Dolby Vision and HDR 10, you can rest assured that you're buying the best. It's also a Smart TV so you can stream your favorite content from popular services such as Netflix, Amazon Video and VUDU using LG's award-winning webOS 3.0 Smart TV platform, and even connect your phone or other wireless device to show off vacation photos and more. Available in 43 to 86-inch screen sizes to suit any size boomer cave.
Step 2: Find comfortable furniture
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to a boomer cave, so it's common to forego the traditional couch and set up the area with multiple reclining chairs. This gives everyone their own space to kick back, relax and enjoy the show.
When setting up the room, ensure the arrangement gives each viewer an uninterrupted sightline to the screen but does not block any main walkways and still complements the aesthetic of the room. Many people put chairs about nine feet from a TV, but experiment to find what is best for you.
Step 3: Add amazing extras
Add personalized elements and the space will truly feel unique. Frame favorite vacation photos, art or sports memorabilia. Add ambient lighting. Paint the walls your favorite colors. When it comes to boomer caves, the sky is the limit.
Beyond decor, a few extras can make the space more enjoyable. A wet bar with a variety of glasses is a nice touch. Built-in charging stations ensure everyone stays connected. Card games add a casino feel. Workout buffs may want to add weights.
Step 5: Don't forget about the grad
Now that the parents are in boomer-cave heaven, it's important not to forget about that hard-working grad. Send your love to your favorite young professional by gifting them a sleek, new ultra-lightweight laptop like the LG gram 15. It weighs only 2.16 pounds yet boasts the full screen real estate of a 15-inch laptop, making it easy to travel around campus, or even take from the apartment to the office and back. Equipped with great features including Full HD picture quality - 1920 x 1080 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio - your grad will enjoy an immersive viewing experience and plenty of advanced connectivity options, whether updating a resume or surfing the web.
Of course, any time you're missing your graduate, you can always invite him or her over for some quality time in the cave. Remember, just because it's a cave meant for parents, doesn't mean it can't be the whole family's new favorite room in the house.
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