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    How to make a vintage door look like new again

    October 23, 2020 7:15 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, October 23, 2020

    How to make a vintage door look like new again

    Before you replace your vintage door with a fresh new one, consider the possibility of rejuvenating your existing door instead.



    DIY tips - Vintage door makeover - Schlage
    Before you replace your vintage door with a fresh new one, consider the possibility of rejuvenating your existing door instead. A little DIY knowledge is all you need to restyle, refinish or repurpose that old door into something special – without breaking your budget.

    1. RESTYLE

    Updating your door hardware is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to restyle your door. Schlage door hardware comes in a wide variety of styles and finishes so you can personalize and complement your look. Style is in the details, and this small, inexpensive upgrade is sure to make a big impact.


    If your door needs a little more TLC, you can still keep it simple and affordable with a little paint or stain. Life on Southpointe Drive shows how to update your front door with gel stain. While some DIY experts suggest removing your door from the hinges first to limit drips, it’s not always necessary.

    Another unique option? Milk paint. It’s a water-based paint that creates an antique, distressed look. With a variety of colors and techniques available, you can transform a tired door you don’t want guests to notice into a shabby chic statement piece worth talking about. Find more advice for painting doors and trims in DIY Tips.


    2. Refinish

    Who better than our friends at This Old House to offer up a few professional secrets for bringing a beautiful, vintage exterior door back to life? Check out their step-by-step guide that covers removing door hardware, sanding and scraping tips, hanging and finishing, and re-installing the original door hardware.

    Sometimes, it’s just nice to sit back and look at all the possibilities and get some inspiration. For that, you can always count on Houzz to provide a house full of DIY tips and success stories. Interested in adding a salvaged barn door? Enamored by the original doors from a 19th Century row home? Or is shabby chic your style? The sky’s the limit.

    3. Repurpose

    If you do decide to replace that old door, there are lots of ways you can repurpose it. Turn it into a bookshelf, a knickknack shelf, a strikingly unique picture frame or a host of other imaginative and useful items. Don’t just think of it as an old door when it can be so much more.

    Show us your vintage door upgrades on Facebook and Instagram.


    Buying and selling a house during a pandemic.

    October 22, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, October 22, 2020

    Home buying during a pandemic | Schlage

    To say that you need to be prepared when entering the real estate market is an understatement, but when you’re buying and selling a home during COVID, there are a few extra factors you might want to consider.



    To say that you need to be prepared when entering the real estate market is an understatement, but when you’re buying and selling a home during COVID, there are a few extra factors you might want to consider. Reduce your stress and make the process as simple, fun and safe as possible by asking these questions before setting out on your house hunting expedition.
    Couple looking at homes online.

    What are your priorities, both long- and short-term?

    Chances are that your lifestyle changed in 2020, spending more time at home, working from home, cooking at home, going for more walks around the neighborhood. Even if your day-to-day is back to normal, you might have discovered new hobbies or better ways of doing things. Consider your new priorities when choosing your next home. Here are some of the most common home features people added to their wish lists in 2020:


    • More outdoor space: Valuable for warding off cabin fever during times of quarantine and finding more pleasure in nature at home

    • Traditional or closed floorplan: More important when working from home, e-learning and quarantining requires more privacy, or you just crave more personal space during no-travel orders

    • Dedicated home office: Important for improving focus and productivity as well as privacy and confidentiality

    • Home gym: Because home workouts, and meditation or yoga spaces, have become a bigger part of people’s routines

    • Mother-in-law suite: Particularly important as multigenerational homes become more common and in the event that someone needs to be quarantined from the rest of the family

    • Updated HVAC systems, air purifiers and sanitary materials: Especially appealing if you want easy-to-clean surfaces and ways to limit germs in your home

    What does “location, location, location” mean now?

    Whereas commute time was a major consideration when looking at houses prior to the pandemic, location has a different significance if you’re now working from home. If you aren’t worried about drive time to the office, you can now give higher priority to the neighborhood or schools you want for your kids, the climate you’ve always dreamed of or the proximity to your favorite restaurants. Some homebuyers have shifted their attention to the suburbs, where population density is lower and cost of living is more affordable.

    How will COVID-19 affect the financials of buying a house?

    Many people are anxious about what kind of down payment they should make, especially if their employment situation is a bit tenuous during the pandemic. The same can be said about future mortgage payments. The best answer here is to contact a financial expert so you can get the personalized advice you need.


    This is also an interesting time to decide if you want to take on a fixer-upper. It’s often a way to save money on the home sale itself, and if you have the time or developed some new DIY skills in recent months, this could be the perfect opportunity to put your personal stamp on a new home.

    What will you do if you need gap housing?

    There might be a gap between when you move out of your current home and into the new one. Where will you stay during that time? The friends and family you would have counted on pre-pandemic might not be able to or comfortable with hosting you now. Figure out what short-term living situation works for you and plan accordingly, whether that means lining up a generous friend, budgeting for an extended hotel stay or putting your things in self-storage.

    Little girl and parents moving into new home.

    Is it a good idea to do a virtual showing?

    Some realtors and homeowners began doing virtual showings only this year to limit exposure to the virus. While some buyers have shied away from a home they can’t see in person, others have found it to be beneficial. Emma Banks of Apartment Therapy found that she was able to ask the seller questions directly, which they wouldn’t have been able to during a realtor-hosted showing, especially since she was looking at properties on the other side of the country. Here are some tips for attending a virtual home showing.


    • Ask for the home’s disclosures beforehand. Your real estate agent should be able to get a list of “defects,” so you know what to look for and what to ask about before you even tune in.

    • Get the floorplan. When you’re watching on a screen, it can be easy to get lost. Think of it like the map to a guided tour of a city.

    • Ask lots of questions. It might be harder to get a feel for the house when you aren’t actually standing in it. There are no bad questions when it comes to making this kind of investment, so ask away. If you’re doing a live virtual viewing, you may need to hold your questions until the end. Write them down as you go so you don’t forget. Some things you’ll want to ask about no matter what, regardless of the specific house. Come prepared with your list of those questions – how long has the house been on the market, when was it last renovated – as well.

    • Learn the software. You’ll probably see tours on a variety of platforms – Facebook, Zoom and even real estate-specific software. Don’t miss the tour because you were trying to figure out the technology.
    Mid-century modern living room.

    What should I know if I’m selling during the pandemic?

    If you want someone to make an offer, you need them to feel at home and be able to picture themselves in the house. There are several ways to do this, but here are some of our favorites:


    • Focus on curb appeal. Because it might not be possible for buyers to tour the house in person, expect them to at least do a drive-by. That means they need to get a really good feeling just by looking at it from the street. This is important in any market, but it might be even more so during a pandemic. Spruce up the landscaping, clean and repair the porch, paint your front door an appealing color and make sure the lighting is perfect. And don’t forget the garage door, which is routinely named as one of the biggest bangs for your buck when it comes to remodeling projects for resale.

    • Prepare for virtual showings. Plan the route you’ll take as you guide your “guests” through the house and know what you’re going to say, just as you would if you were public speaking. Do a test run at different times of the day to see how lighting affects the video quality. And just as you would if you were showing your home in person – or on a video call for work – be sure to clean up and find a safe place for pets where they won’t interrupt.

    • Get ready to answer questions. Homebuyers are likely to make more personal, to-the-point inquiries, particularly if they’re viewing your house virtually. Start by figuring out what questions you would ask when buying a house during coronavirus, then prepare those answers for your own house.

    • Install a smart lock. If you are allowing potential buyers to tour the home in person, you might be able to practice social distancing by not even needing to be on-site at the same time. A smart lock with unique and programmable access codes can make it easy for your realtor to show the house without you having to be there to let them in, to exchange keys or to mess with one of those lock boxes. You can take the smart lock with you when you move out, too.

    • Stage your house. This isn’t unique to the times, but you might stage your house keeping in mind those new priorities we mentioned at the very beginning. Perhaps you show a spare room as an office rather than a craft room. Or emphasize how inviting and relaxing your back deck oasis can really be.

    A lot goes into buying and selling your house. Get more tips, from deciding which projects to tackle for resale value to packing advice to what to do first when finally move in, from Schlage’s real estate resources.


    Halloween entryway and porch décor to die for.

    October 20, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, October 20, 2020

    Halloween entryway decor | Schlage

    If you’re looking to scare up some new ideas for decorating your front porch or entryway for Halloween, let us help.



    When it comes to Halloween décor, most of us don’t go for understated. It’s a holiday that screams for bold. If you’re looking to scare up some new ideas for decorating your front porch or entryway for Halloween, let us help.
    Mini pumpkin and skull Halloween wreath.

    Halloween décor for your front door

    Whether you’re just decorating the door or creating an entire scene for passersby, use these ideas to get you started. Then try out our Halloween party décor ideas for your front door.

    This is not the time for pretty flower wreaths. Try a creepy twig Halloween wreath instead. You can DIY this Halloween décor with just some sticks, a glue gun and, if you want, black spray paint.
    If you’re looking for low effort or minimalist design, this one is for you. A store-bought web attached to your house numbers lets everyone know your house celebrates the spooky. Merriment Design added their own glittery spider for extra effect.
    A covered porch offers the perfect opportunity to literally raise your Halloween décor game. Martha Stewart shows how to do hanging bats, but witches’ hats and ghosts are spooktacular alternatives as well.
    Personalizing a door mat for Halloween is one of the simplest holiday DIY projects you can do. Buy a plain mat, paint and some foam brushes. Whether or not you use a stencil is up to you and your artistic abilities. DIY Network used a bat stencil in this tutorial, but we also like the idea of freehanded ghosts. They’re mostly just blobs anyway.
    Skip to my Lou turns the idea of a jack-o-lantern on its head with this DIY Halloween luminary. Instead of carving pumpkins, try punching holes in a recycled tin can. Paint adds to the look. You can place these on your porch, lining the stairs up to your front door, in your entryway or all of the above. Light them with battery powered votives for extra safety.

    Halloween decorations for your entryway

    Keep the ghoulish décor going beyond the front door with these ideas for your foyer.

    Do you have entryway seating? This monster makeover is a great way to Halloween-ify your foyer without sacrificing functionality. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t also love this idea for kids’ rooms at any time of year.
    Don’t forget your stairs and railings. Cute bats are a good option if you have little ones who scare easily. You can also use fake cobwebs or adorable ghosts.
    Do you usually have a nice floral arrangement in your entryway? Fresh flowers on a sideboard or landing strip is an inviting touch for when you come home each day. But for Halloween, switch it up with some dark, moody dried flowers like Cheetah is the New Black did for a holiday party.
    Don’t have much Halloween décor? Maybe it’s a small space or you’re worried your decorations look kind of random just sitting out. Group them on a tray like Made in a Day. Check out their entire blog and you’ll see they didn’t go for subtle, but this trick works no matter what your tastes are.
    Whether on your front porch or an entryway side table, a sign can literally make any statement you want. Halloween is the perfect time to either keep it fun and lighthearted or go a bit spookier as you welcome guests to your home.

    Bless’er House shows what’s possible when you want to celebrate Halloween but you’re not one of those people who feels the need to invest in a fog machine just for October. The bats, framed skull print and potion jars definitely have the Halloween vibe, but the rest of the décor will easily transition into the rest of fall without a total overhaul. It’s spooky, classy and easy.


    We didn’t talk much about pumpkins here, but never fear. You can find DIY pumpkin ideas on the Schlage blog along with even more tricks to treat yourself with gorgeous front porch décor.


    Halloween entryway decor.


    Schlage Encode locks and Echo devices deal prime combo of security, convenience.

    October 19, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020

    Schlage Encode lock and Amazon Echo Dot | Schlage

    When you buy a Schlage Encode lock during Amazon Prime Day, you'll receive a free Amazon Echo Dot. Here's what you can do when you have multiple Echo devices.



    Are you a fan of free stuff? Of course you are. On Amazon Prime Day in 2020, you can get just that. When you buy a Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, you’ll also receive a free Amazon Echo Dot. And if you already have an Alexa voice assistant? Sync them together and take advantage of these five things you can do with multiple Echo devices.
    Schlage Encode lock and Echo dot.

    1. Protect your home with Alexa Guard

    Perhaps one of the most underutilized features of an Echo device is Alexa Guard. This security feature is designed to detect sounds – breaking glass, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, footsteps – when it’s set to Away mode. You say, “Alexa, I’m leaving” and you’ll receive an alert on your phone if it “hears” a potential threat to your home’s security.


    Alexa Guard works best when you have multiple Echo devices. With multiple devices, you’ve essentially added more sensors. For example, if you only have one Echo Dot and it’s in the bedroom, it may not be close enough to detect sound at the patio door. A second Echo device can help eliminate that blind spot. To activate Alexa Guard, select Guard from the Settings menu in the Amazon Alexa App. You can also set preferences such as Away Lighting, Smart Alerts and link to third-party home security systems.

    2. Help secure your door with the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

    While we’re on the subject of security, let’s talk about how you can use the Echo Dot, or other Echos, to control your Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt. When the lock is connected to your home WiFi, you can ask Alexa about the status of your deadbolt, as well as tell her to lock and unlock the door. And when you have multiple Echo devices – one in the kitchen, another in the bedroom, maybe one in the basement – it’s easier than ever to control your lock with those voice commands. Saying “Alexa, lock the door” from bed or asking “Alexa, is my door locked?” from the kids’ playroom provides ultimate convenience and peace of mind.

    3. Update shopping lists, calendars and reminders

    When you ask Alexa to add something to your grocery list, put something on your calendar or set a reminder, it goes to your Amazon account. That means you can access that list or get the notification from any of your Echo devices. No more rushing to meet your kids’ bus because you didn’t hear the reminder from the other end of the house.


    Note that if you set a timer or alarm on one Echo device, it will not sync with others in your home. The timer will only sound on that original Echo.

    4. Play music simultaneously in multiple rooms

    You’re hosting a get-together and want your party music to play in the kitchen and living room. Or maybe you’re cleaning the house from top to bottom and need some jams to keep the motivation going. You can play the same playlist on multiple devices in multiple rooms. PC Mag has step-by-step instructions for grouping your devices and setting up that functionality. Of course, if you’d rather not have music playing on all devices – perhaps your teen has different tastes than you – you can simply ungroup them as well.

    5. Drop In on friends and family

    Treat your Echos like an intercom with Alexa Drop In. This is a super-convenient function when you want to call the kids to dinner without screaming or if you want to tell your dog to get off the couch (or just tease them a little bit) when you’re not in the room. You can say, “Alexa, drop in on the Living Room Echo” and immediately start the conversation to find out if your sweetie wants something to drink before the movie starts. Use this guide from How To Geek to enable Drop In for your Echo devices.

    In addition to this limited time offer on the Schlage Encode lock and Echo Dot bundle, you can also get 20% off the Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt and select interior door hardware on Prime Day. Find great deals on a variety of interior door knobs and levers, from the traditional Schlage Georgian knob to the more contemporary Schlage Latitude lever, as well as our best selection of trim styles and finishes.


    Learn more about the Schlage Encode and Schlage Connect smart locks, as well as all of our electronic deadbolts, at We also have a variety of resources for getting the most out of your devices at the Schlage blog.


    15 home improvement projects that deliver glam décor.

    October 19, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Monday, October 19, 2020

    Glam decor | Schlage

    Adding a little glitz and glamour to your home decor doesn’t require a Hollywood-sized budget. Here are 15 of our favorite glam decor DIY projects to help you live like a celebrity without breaking the bank.



    Adding a little glitz and glamour to your home decor doesn’t require a Hollywood-sized budget. Here are 15 of our favorite glam decor DIY projects to help you live like a celebrity without breaking the bank. All you need are some gleaming metallics – look to golds and silvers – rich colors and luxurious fabrics.
    Glitz and glam living room decor.

    1. Ikea dresser hack » Homey oh my

    It would be easy for a dresser from Ikea to look humdrum, but what really sets this one apart is the gold pulls and corners. The extra detail is reminiscent of the opulent Art Deco period and balances nicely with the gold-toned lamp and accessories, pulling everything together.

    2. Mirrored Vanity » Handmade Haven

    Anything that reflects light with a bit of drama is the right fit for your glam décor. Ashely at Handmade Haven transformed a table that had seen better days into a mirrored vanity as beautiful she is. All it took was silver spray paint, mirrors from the home improvement store and some glass knobs that she glued to the drawer. We can hardly believe it’s the same piece of furniture.

    3. Gem mirror » A Beautiful Mess

    If you love the mirrored look, you have almost endless possibilities. The DIYers at A Beautiful Mess totally had us fooled with this one. Rather than overlaying a frame on the glass, they painted detailing, using contact paper as a stencil of sorts.

    4. Mirrored dresser » The Tamara Blog

    What could easily be $1,000 or more purchased new from the store comes in at much lower cost with a little DIY skill. New paint, new glass and new drawer pulls turn this run-of-the-mill dresser into a statement piece at just a fraction of the cost.

    5. Swarovski crystal towel bar » Houzz

    It’s the little, unexpected touches that sometimes make the biggest impact. Case in point: This towel bar with crystal embellishment. Pair it with other glam bathroom accessories like gold or glass containers for soaps and toiletries, and every day will feel like you’re living in the lap of luxury.

    6. DIY tufted headboard » Jeweled Interiors

    Tufted, or gathered, fabric is a hallmark of glamorous Art Deco style. You’ll often see it on couches and chairs, and Jeweled Interiors shows a stunning option with this DIY headboard. To really sell the look, choose velvet or a similar fabric in a deep color like this rust, peacock blue or emerald green.

    7. DIY faux marble tabletop » Change With Us

    Few things give the impression of luxe quite like marble. You don’t need a huge budget to capture this look, though. This blogger used an Ikea coffee table and some marble contact paper for a project that is equal parts quick, easy and glamorous.

    8. Acrylic shelves » Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss

    To really get the chic Hollywood Regency feel, you’ll want glass and gold, or at least the illusion of it. Think of all those flashy chandeliers of the rich and famous. These handy DIYers combined high style with a dose of functionality by adding spray-painted brackets to acrylic shelves, then made a message board to match. In My Own Style pulled off a similar side table makeover using a TV tray table, of all things.

    9. Glam barn door » Designs by Jeana

    A glamorous barn door might sound like an oxymoron, but Jeana proves it’s not only real, but also gorgeous and simple to boot. Just as making a hollow core door look expensive on a budget requires a bit of creativity and elbow grease, adding mirrored panels to an existing barn door can give any room extra pizzazz. Paired with that glitzy overhead light and you’ve got style that looks like a million bucks.

    10. Simple lampshade hack » Once again, My Dear Irene

    Glam and understated don’t typically go together, but this is one exception that definitely works. Instead of covering every last detail in gold, this DIYer lined the inside of her lampshade with a shimmery wrapping paper. Talk about an easy way to change a room’s ambiance.

    11. Dorothy Draper nightstand » Marcus Design

    Dorothy Draper was an interior designer of the 1930s, known for being “anti-minimalist.” So when Nancy from Marcus Designs had the kind of plain dresser you might expect in a budget rental, it needed some help for a true glam transformation. The dark background makes the gold accents really pop with a stylish dose of drama.

    12. Ceiling light revamp » The Painted Hive

    Tulip-shaped glass chandelier shades were popular at one time, but most of us can agree that they aren’t exactly today’s definition of glam décor. The Painted Hive replaced those shades with a more contemporary one, added some beaded details and, in their words, went from “tired old-fashioned drab to chic Parisian fab.”

    13. Bar cart makeover » Art is Beauty

    When we think of the original Art Deco era, we often think of dolled-up ladies and tuxedoed men at glamorous parties. So it makes sense that you’d want a chic bar cart inspired by that same atmosphere. A new paint job and gold embellishments give new life to this cart. It’ll be hard not to host a great soiree.

    14. Vinyl artwork » Signed by Tina

    If you’re a believer that artwork is for more than just looking at, you might fall in love with this fish scale-inspired wall hanging. Perhaps a tedious project – the DIYer cut out about 400 vinyl circles – it’s certainly as eye-catching as it is fun to touch. You can even play with different colors or vinyl and types of lighting to create the glamorous and dramatic effect you want.

    15. Campaign style side tables » Juniper Home

    So many of us have had these little square tables at some point in our lives. While they’re entirely functional, they’re nothing to write home about when it comes to style. All this DIYer did was tap on brass corners to make them look more expensive and sophisticated than should be possible.

    Learn more about Hollywood Regency style and how to get the look in your home with our design guide. It’s full of tips for bringing the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood to your modern home. You can also find more décor inspiration on Pinterest.


    DIY projects from TikTok you’ll regret not trying.

    October 16, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, October 16, 2020

    TikTok home diy projects | Schlage

    Whether you’re trying to fix some walls, decorating a new place or want to replicate a high-end designer project on a budget, here are some helpful TikTok home DIY hacks you won’t want to miss.



    If you’re on TikTok, you know there’s a lot of ridiculousness out there, but you also know there are some really intelligent DIY ideas and life hacks. Whether you’re trying to fix some walls, decorating a new place or want to replicate a high-end designer project on a budget, here are some helpful TikTok home DIY hacks you won’t want to miss.
    Woman hanging picture frames.

    Hand sanitizer in disguise » @rachelarcher

    Sweet, simple and sanitary. We all have an extra bottle or two of hand sanitizer around these days, but that doesn’t mean we want to stare at unattractive packaging. This is a great hack for hiding ugly bottles, whether it’s in the entryway, bathroom or anywhere else in the house.


    Picture hanging hacks » @zoeyno

    Getting your pictures level, especially if you’re doing a gallery wall or if the frame is large, can be tough. Stop struggling and try this hack for hanging straight pictures. All you need is a pencil, painter’s tape and a ruler. The same DIY hack works for hanging large mirrors, or you can try this idea with toothpaste.


    DIY LED mirror » @ianmadethat

    Speaking of mirrors, backlighting can be a stunning way to add drama to a room. Unfortunately, LED mirrors often carry a big price tag. You can make your own for less by adding stick-on lighting to a basic mirror. This TikTok DIYer chose multicolored lights, but you could also stick to classic white if that’s more your style. See Part 2 for the final unveiling.


    Hacks for better painting » @sharnshouse

    One video, multiple tips. Check out this super quick list of hacks for nailing fine details while painting, mixing a slightly different shade of paint yourself and more. They’ll help for when you want to do more than simply roll a single color on the wall.


    Chipped paint patch up » @louiburke

    This hack for fixing walls isn’t much of a hack at all, but it’s something every homeowner should know how to do. See how this DIYer repaired a wall in a rental property when one of those adhesive hooks didn’t unstick like it should have.


    Upcycled nightstand » @lovexkiim

    Take second-hand furniture and turn it into something that not only looks nicer but is also uniquely you. It’s not just about the paint, though. The new cabinet pulls in this video make a huge difference! Plus, what’s not to love about a good before-and-after?


    Hidden wires » @lisaherland

    How do you hide wires for a wall-mounted TV? There are a lot of ways, but we love that this one goes the extra step for a truly clean look.


    DIY bed skirt » @louiburke

    Creative solutions are some of our favorite, which is why we love this table runner-turned-bed skirt. It’s the perfect way to hide clutter underneath the bed or to simply give your bedroom a more finished look. All you need is some basic sewing skills.


    Tighter door hinges » @mrfixitdiy

    A loose door hinge can be noisy and annoying. It can also be unsafe. The good news is that you don’t have to tackle a major carpentry project to tighten your door hinges again. Here’s one way, using dowel rods.


    House numbers made easy » @eternalharvestdecor

    Like fixing your door hinges, updating your house numbers can solve a lot of issues. It boosts your curb appeal and helps guests find your home more easily, for starters. But sometimes drilling new, modern house numbers directly into your home’s façade isn’t the right route. This home DIY hack is one of our favorites, especially when you consider the different colors, stains or accessories you could also try.


    Find more DIY ideas to improve your home’s resale value, give your front porch a new look or test your home improvement skills at the Schlage blog.


    Ideas from extreme homes you can actually try.

    October 14, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020

    Unusual homes | Schlage

    Here are some of our favorite unusual homes with ideas for incorporating their best features in your own.



    We all love those extreme home renovation shows. Who doesn’t love to see a house where budget and remodeling time are irrelevant? But if we’re going to use those houses to inspire our own décor, we need to find some realistic alternatives. Here are some of our favorite unusual homes with ideas for incorporating their best features in your own.
    Camper van home.

    Not what it seems

    No matter what kind of curb appeal you have, sometimes the exterior of a house doesn’t reveal its true character. These remind us to not always choose a book, or a home, by its cover.


    This converted church is a great example of how you can give new life to an historic structure. We also love how it proves you can mix modern with traditional for a room with a unique look that still makes sense.


    And who said old churches had to be dark and solemn? This living space shows how you can keep original architecture and bring it up to date with a style that’s bright and airy.


    Today’s Platform1346 “house” was once a World War II train. You can rent this Airbnb property and sleep comfortably in a queen-sized bed instead of a cramped berth found in vintage locomotives.


    Quite honestly, we wouldn’t look too hard at the before pictures. But considering this apartment started life as public toilets at England’s Crystal Palace, we’d call this a major style upgrade. Anything is possible.

    Open house

    Some tiny homes are just too tiny and glass houses can occasionally be too exposing, but the best ones teach genius lessons in optical illusions and encourage us to use what nature gave us.


    This cottage-style tiny house featured in Apartment Therapy is just 260 square feet, but we doubt you’d feel claustrophobic with all those windows helping the space feel more expansive.


    Here’s another lesson in windows, at all levels, from a gorgeous tiny home.
    Some glass houses use tinting windows and strategically placed walls to offer privacy where it’s needed most, like in bedrooms. But this wooded New York house shows how you can also let nature provide some coverage.

    Eclectic indoor-outdoor living

    Seamless transitions between indoors and out are increasingly popular for their beauty and potential health benefits. These eclectic homes remind us that you don’t have to head to the woods to enjoy the great outdoors.


    This house doesn’t look like much from the front. Once you get past the entrance, however, you’ll see it curves around a central courtyard deck with windows, letting in all the natural light and outdoor vibes.

    Hawaii knows how to do a lanai, so we should all take note. In this breathtaking example from Houzz, the living room opens up almost completely thanks to sliding pocket doors, eliminating barriers to what we can only imagine is a refreshing breeze and pure relaxation.


    Large picture windows and natural colors and materials can capture the essence of being outdoors even if you can’t open your house to the elements. This Australian farmhouse with Spanish flair is the perfect example with its stone fireplace, wood beams and cozy brown couches.

    Eye-catching sustainable architecture

    More and more homes are being built with sustainable or recycled materials. These eco-friendly houses remind us there are many ways to reduce our impact on the environment from the comfort of our own homes.


    The OS House in Wisconsin is one of the first Platinum LEED-certified residences in the Midwest. Among its eco-friendly features is a deep-well geothermal heating/cooling system that lets the homeowners operate off the grid for parts of the year.


    The House of the Big Arch in South Africa was designed so it wouldn’t harm a single tree during construction, which meant, in part, that the homeowners built vertically and at odd angles. You might not have the resources to pull off such a grand project, but you can still choose locations for smaller projects – a garden shed, pool or home addition – that will disrupt existing plants and animals as little as possible.


    Scale this to an individual house and it could take the form of a living wall or a potted jungle on a balcony. You don’t need full-sized trees or the help of a designer like A5 Aquitectura to pump a little more clean air into the atmosphere.

    Extreme curb appeal

    Your home’s exterior and front porch should make a welcoming statement to whoever comes to your door. That statement should be as unique as you are. These unusual homes remind us that curb appeal can mean so much more than a beautiful door and well-kept lawn.


    Sissinghurst Castle Gardens is considered to be one of the best in England, but you don’t need a royal budget to be inspired by this look. Well-defined paths with gravel or pavers, flower beds full of plants in a range of colors, textures and heights, and maybe a water feature can give you that stately feel. For a more formal European garden look, try topiaries.


    Curb appeal is more than landscaping. The exterior of the home itself can also make or break the look. We’re not saying you have to go as extreme as the Mirage House – we’re not even sure we understand this home in the Swiss Alps – but it certainly makes it clear how powerful that first impression can be.


    We don’t really know where the curb is on this Australian cliff house, but it certainly makes a strong statement.


    Find more home décor inspiration on the Schlage blog or by following us on Pinterest and Instagram.


    Top 3 benefits of a smart home you shouldn't live without.

    October 12, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Monday, October 12, 2020

    Google Home mini next to smartphone| Schlage

    Before you dig into researching smart home options, it helps to decide what you want most from your technology.



    Smart home, home automation, connected home, Internet of Things ... there are many terms that describe the ability to add remote capabilities for monitoring the home. It's no wonder we have a hard time deciding which products we need! If you're feeling overwhelmed by the wealth of options in home automation, you’re not alone. Before you dig into researching those options, it helps to decide what you want most from your technology. Here are our picks for the three top benefits of a smart home.

    1. Energy Efficiency

    Many smart home products allow you to be more energy efficient, so you’re doing your part for the environment, not to mention easing some strain on your wallet. When you’re trying to improve your at-home energy usage, a great starting place is a programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature in your home from work, from the airport when you’ve just returned from vacation or even from bed when you’re too cold to get out from under the covers. Learning thermostats, one of the latest innovations in home automation, will even learn your daily routines and, with time, be able to change the temperature based on your personal preferences without you having to do a thing.


    Other connected devices that can have a big environmental impact include washers and dryers, thanks to enhanced sensors that stop the devices from running unnecessarily when the cycle is finished or water monitors that can alert you to leaks in a basement, utility closet or laundry room before they become a moldy mess.


    Lighting, especially, is a great example of how you can turn an ordinary electronic into a smart appliance. Connect them to a smart plug – CNET offers their favorites for 2020 – and you’ll be able to turn lights on or off using your smartphone. Check out more ways that getting smart can save you and your home energy in our blog archive.

    2. Convenience & Security

    On those scatterbrained days when you can’t remember if you locked the door or shut the garage, smart devices pull double duty by helping to keep your home secure and by doing it conveniently. When you can use your smartphone to lock your Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt from anywhere, or an app to check on your smart garage door, there’s no more retracing your steps to check that everything’s secure and being late for work. Make these part of a smart routine and the convenience levels skyrocket. A single command will make sure your entrances are secure, your lights are dimmed and more, so you can rest easy at night.


    Connected cameras allow you to check in from time to time and offer even more peace of mind. And video doorbells can alert you when someone’s on your porch. It’s a great way to see when a package is delivered or, worst-case scenario, drawing unwanted attention from porch pirates.

    3. Time

    Smart devices are time savers in more ways than one. One study found that 57% of Americans say their smart home devices save them 30 minutes per day. That’s 182.5 hours, or more than a week, each year.


    Clearly, these smart devices are giving back free time, allowing us to focus on other activities. Instead of being confined to the kitchen or constantly adjusting the music during a party, spend time with your guests by automating music playlists, lighting and more. Use smart kitchen appliances that alert you when food is on the verge of spoiling or remotely check if the meal in the oven is done, and you’re not only saving time, but money as well.


    When choosing connected home products, make sure you consider the benefits that matter most to you. Learn more about smart homes and the technology that makes them so safe, convenient and simple, at the Schlage blog.


    6 simple things to consider when shopping for door hardware.

    October 9, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Friday, October 9, 2020

    Man looking at smartphone | Schlage

    No longer a question of if homeowners are adding smart home technology to their renovation to-do lists, it’s more a matter of how and with which devices you’ll choose.



    Buying a new door knob is simple enough. Then you get to the store or look online and there are more options than you expected. Or you bring something home only to find out it’s not quite right. We’re here to reassure you that there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. This checklist shows you what to consider when buying door hardware. It won’t be long before you’re deciding which DIY project to take on next.
    Simple project checklist for buying Schlage door hardware.

    Choose your style

    You might not think of door hardware style often, but you do notice when it’s scratched, dented, doesn’t match the look of the rest of the house or is just plain ugly. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a door knob is just a door knob. Look for hardware that matches your personal taste and the architectural style of your home, whether that means contemporary and sleek, traditional and ornate, or somewhere in between.


    When considering style, also weigh the pros and cons of door knobs versus levers and how they fit your lifestyle. Do you have a sneaky pet who can operate a lever to let themselves out? Unless it’s a service dog, that’s probably not a good thing and you want a door knob. Or maybe you do prefer a lever because it’s easier to grip with arthritic hands.

    Choose a finish … or four

    Like style, the finish of your door hardware is largely up to personal taste. Perhaps the biggest consideration here is whether you want all the fixtures in your home to match. We’re not just talking about all your levers being Bright Chrome, either. Look at light fixtures, faucets and other plumbing, cabinet pulls and furniture with metallic accents. Fans of minimalism, Scandinavian and, typically, more traditional interior design might lean toward focusing on a single finish.


    Mixing metal finishes is also an option, particularly as maximalism gains popularity. It can be easy to go a bit overboard, however, so try to limit it to four or fewer finishes, find some matching elements to keep from looking too chaotic and, when you do mix and match, choose complementing contrasts. Our guide to mixing hardware finishes can help you get it right the first time.

    Count how many doors you have

    You might be surprised by just how many doors there actually are in your house. You don’t want to get home and find out you’re short one. Of course, you don’t need to replace every single door knob or lever, but keep in mind that doing so can help you maintain a cohesive look throughout the house. At the very least, it can keep a hallway from looking mismatched if you have a bright brass door knob on one door and a satin nickel knob in a different style on another.


    When counting your doors, don’t forget closets, basement entries, laundry rooms and others you might not use every day. It might help to physically walk through the house and keep a tally.

    Decide what functions you need

    Now that you know how many new knobs and levers you need, decide what functions you want. For interior door hardware, you have three primary options: Bed & Bath, Hall & Closet and Inactive.


    • Bed & Bath (Privacy): Choose Bed & Bath hardware for rooms where extra privacy is needed. A push-button lock secures the door from inside the room, while turning the knob or lever from the inside unlocks it. As the name implies, Bed & Bath door hardware is best for bedrooms and bathrooms, but they’re also common for home offices, for example.

    • Hall & Closet (Passage): Choose Hall & Closet hardware for doors where privacy is not needed. The latch will help keep the door closed, but there is no locking function. Hall & Closet knobs and levers are best for any kind of closet – bedroom, entryway, pantry – or even on children’s bedroom doors if you don’t want them to be able to lock themselves in.

    • Inactive: Sometimes also known as Non-turning or Dummy, inactive knobs and levers are primarily decorative. They’re most often used for the non-functioning side of French doors and other doors that don’t need to latch.


    Schlage door hardware comes in each of these functions, so regardless of the style and finish you choose, you can also get the desired functions without compromising your look.

    Remember your exterior doors

    Remember to include exterior doors in your considerations. You might decide that now’s the perfect time to upgrade your front door handleset, deadbolt or smart lock. Use the same tips above for choosing its style and finish. Count your exterior doors, too, particularly if you want to update a front and back door. Or a front and garage entry door.


    When choosing a lock for an exterior door, you can decide between mechanical or electronic deadbolts. Schlage deadbolts, whether mechanical or smart, are rated Best by the BHMA in Finish, Durability and Security. Knowing that each lock comes with the peace of mind and quality you expect to help protect your home, the main decision is whether a smart lock provides additional levels of convenience that fit your lifestyle. Learn more about Schlage smart locks or use our Get Help Deciding Tool to find the one that’s right for your home.

    Make sure you have a screwdriver

    You might be wondering if you have the necessary tools to install door hardware. Chances are that you do since, with Schlage door hardware, all you need is a screwdriver. We design our hardware, whether for interior or exterior doors, to fit on all standard pre-drilled doors. No need to become a carpenter overnight or hire a handyman for this simple home improvement project. Plus, with our How-To Center, you can find answers to the most common questions, videos and more if you need some extra assistance.


    Take a look at all Schlage has to offer, from styles and finishes to smart locks to interactive installation instructions, at


    11 ideas for celebrating Halloween during quarantine.

    October 9, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, October 9, 2020

    Pumpkin bucket with mask | Schlage

    If you’re stuck for ideas on how to enjoy Halloween during a pandemic, let us help. Here are some of our favorite suggestions for entertaining the kids, hosting some grown-up fun and giving back to the community this fall.



    Even if you love a spooky Halloween, you don’t want to celebrate with a health scare. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to enjoy Halloween during a pandemic, let us help. Here are some of our favorite suggestions for entertaining the kids, hosting some grown-up fun and giving back to the community this fall.
    Pumpkin bucket with mask.

    How to celebrate Halloween with your little monsters

    Hidden treats

    Time as we know it has ceased to exist during 2020, so why limit yourself to fall traditions? Instead of walking the kids door to door, celebrate a social-distanced Halloween by hiding “Easter” eggs around the yard or house. The novelty of an egg hunt in October should be enough to keep from feeling like Halloween just passed you by. You can fill them with candy or, if they have food allergies, toys and other treats. Invite a few close friends or keep it just to the immediate family and hide eggs indoors or out depending on your weather and climate. For extra spooky fun, get some eggs that glow in the dark.

    Creepy craft

    Halloween is on a Saturday this year, so you have all day to enjoy socially distant festivities. Plan a series of craft projects for the youngsters to keep them occupied and use them to decorate the house while you’re at it. Some of our favorite Halloween craft ideas for kids include balloon ghosts, Frankenstein sun catchers, fluffy slime or any number of DIY pumpkins.

    Global ghouls

    Whether you make it a Halloween night activity or use it to spice up e-learning, introduce the kiddos to celebrations from around the world. It’s the perfect opportunity to teach about diversity and multiculturalism. If you need some ideas to get you started, check out Mexico’s Día de los Muertos, Dzień Zaduszny, Poland’s All Souls’ Day, or Pangangaluluwa from The Philippines.

    Halloween party decorations.

    Halloween party ideas for older witches and wizards

    BOOze cart

    Whether it’s just you and your honey or you’re inviting a few close friends over for a small gathering, now’s your chance to scare up some fun drinks and décor at the same time. Decorate a bar cart for the occasion and stock it with all the fixings for different “potions.” You can stick with your favorite drinks, try some new Halloween cocktails or keep it family-friendly with apple cider and other seasonal refreshments.

    Virtual pumpkin carving

    A costume party on Zoom could be fun, but we think it will lack some of the excitement of being in person and ultimately prove a bit disappointing. Pumpkin carving might be more up your alley. FaceTime your best pals on FaceTime or ring them up on Skype and see who can create the best Quarantineoween jack-o-lantern. You can keep it casual and chat while you work or start a timer and turn it into a contest.

    Boy with halloween costume and black mask.

    Tips for making a quarantine Halloween fun for the family

    Spooky treats

    A store-bought bag of candy is convenient, but what about something a bit more personalized? Or something healthier? Gather your favorite ghosts and ghouls in the kitchen and see what kind of Halloween snacks you can conjure up. Peanut butter eyeballs or boonanas, anyone?

    Movies, new and old

    It’s not Halloween if you don’t watch at least one scary movie, right? Again, because Halloween is on a Saturday, you have all day to turn this into a marathon. Stock up on those spooky treats and settle in for the long haul. If you’re looking for more interactive entertainment, cast the family in a scary movie of your own. Get creative with costumes, create a spooky scene and record it on your phone. There are also some great stop-motion apps if you’d rather leave the acting to the professionals.

    Drive-thru haunted house

    If you’re missing haunted houses, check your area for some drive-thru options. Just don’t cover your eyes if you’re the driver.

    Quarantineoween mask

    Love it or not, masks have become a big part of our lives this year. Turn them into a Halloween DIY project by getting a plain mask and decorating it for the season. Maybe it’s simply with glitter. Or maybe you make it part of a costume – a skeletal mouth, vampire teeth, animal snout or clown smile.

    Front door with Halloween decorations, spider, web and pumpkins.

    Cast a kindred spell on the community

    “Ghost” gift

    Even if you’re social distancing, you can still involve your neighborhood in the Halloween fun. Create a goodie bag – candy, those plastic spider rings, maybe a gift card – and drop it on a friend’s or neighbor’s porch. Include a note asking them to pay it forward with a bag of their own for someone else.

    Happy Halloween wishes

    Decorating your home for Halloween is a given. Just don’t forget others who might not be able to enjoy the same excitement. Consider offering to decorate a neighbor’s yard if they’re unable. Or see if you can deliver some decorations to a nursing home, shelter or children’s hospital. Think about the people around you who might be feeling extra isolated and try to put a smile on their face.

    No matter how you’re celebrating Halloween this year, remember to protect your home as much as yourself. Get more tips for how to make your home safe for Halloween at the Schlage blog. There’s also plenty of inspiration for seasonal décor and more when you follow us on Pinterest.


    11 ways to celebrate Halloween during quarantine.



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