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    Make your day with Amazon Alexa.

    September 18, 2020 10:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, September 18, 2020

    Amazon Alexa - Prime Day - Schlage

    Whatever you’re looking to control, Alexa can take home automation voice technology to the next level.



    “Alexa, Earl Grey, hot.” While this might not be the most important request you make of your Alexa device today, her answer of “Unable to comply; replicators are off line…” is sure to be a disappointment.


    From charming pop-culture Easter eggs to advanced home automation functionality, Alexa-enabled devices have become a staple in smart homes around the world. Featuring an ever-evolving list of skills, people have fallen in love with the convenience of Alexa. So, if you’re planning on picking up an Alexa device on Prime Day this year, Schlage would like to remind you of all the great things you can expect.


    Managing your thermostat. Controlling your home’s lighting. Locking your front door. Whatever you’re looking to control, Alexa can take home automation voice technology to the next level. Better yet, Alexa is not alone. Many of today’s most respected and innovative brands –Schlage, GE, Phillips, Ring, Nest and others – are supporting smart -home technologies with products that were literally once the stuff of science fiction.

    “Alexa, what can you show me?”

    Alexa-enabled devices are designed to work with a range of brands innovating in the home automation space.


    Alexa can control the volume of your Sonos wireless speakers. Phillips Hue lighting can be turned on and off or dimmed, just by asking. Your front door can be locked with your voice and you can monitor many of the safety systems in your home, including video doorbells and security cameras. This is just scratching the surface. If you’ve been considering adding home automation technology into your life, now is the perfect time to get started.

    Amazon Alexa - Smart locks - Schlage

    “Alexa, lock the front door.”

    It’s no surprise that Schlage is among the leading companies innovating for the smart home of today (and tomorrow). In 1909, Schlage’s founder, Walter Schlage, received his first patent for an electronic door lock that could also turn the lights on and off. Now, more than 100 years later, the company he founded is expanding its innovation footprint by introducing a whole family of smart locks that can be accessed from your smartphone or from your Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.


    With the Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt, Amazon Echo users can lock their doors with their voice, and with the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, and Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, you can also unlock the door via voice and a unique PIN. Convenience and peace of mind are just a voice command away and represent but a fraction of what voice-activated home automation promises to bring to you and your family.

    “Alexa, play Holst Jupiter on Spotify”

    There are a wide range of Amazon Alexa-enabled devices for you to consider, each sporting its own particular set of features tailored to your preferences and the specifics of your home automation system. From the Echo Plus smart speaker, to the compact Echo Dot, to the video-enabled Echo Show, there are plenty of options to match your needs. Pick your favorite and then sit back and enjoy, as a whole world of possibilities in home automation open up for you.

    “Alexa, what’s the date?”

    With all home automation devices, a little research and preparation can go a long way in making sure all of the products you pair with your system are compatible and will work properly. You’ll be well on your way to making yours one of the more than 5 million smart homes in America today.


    By 2025, it is estimated that there will be more than 41 billion connected devices in our homes, cars and more. Since you can get started exploring the Internet of Things for as little as $500, when you consider the convenience, safety, security – and fun – connected technologies can bring you, it’s certainly worth looking into.


    And there's no better time to start than right now.


    Latin, Hispanic heritage inspires these 3 pros to lift communities.

    September 18, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, September 18, 2020

    Hispanic heritage month | Schlage

    This blog is about strong Latinx individuals creating better architecture and technology for the community, the people who make our lives what they are even though we never see them.



    This is not a blog about ordinary people in the housing industry. It’s not about how to make your front porch look beautiful or how to use accessories to put your personal stamp on a home. This blog is about strong Latinx individuals creating better architecture and technology for the community, the people who make our lives what they are even though we never see them. See how Melissa Henao-Robledo, Siboney Díaz-Sánchez and Simón Borrero are impacting their fields and our culture.
    Architect's desk with sketches, glasses and swatches.

    Melissa Henao-Robledo – Landscape architect

    Melissa Henao-Robledo uses landscape architecture to transform ignored corners of our cities. The projects she tackles aren’t always on a grand scale like a government center or multiacre urban park, but the way they affect neighborhoods could be defined as life-changing.


    In 2015, Henao-Robledo and her partner Sara Partridge were awarded a bus shelter contract from the City of Austin. The proposal turned a characterless corner into a community-focused pocket park. But why bother with a park when a bit of protection from the elements is all waiting riders really “need”? Because according to forward-thinking landscape architects, a strong community actually needs more.


    The Metro Rail shelter Henao-Robledo and Partridge designed also included “a trail providing pedestrian and bicycle access to the station from the surrounding neighborhoods” as well as a rainwater harvesting system “to irrigate the native and adapted plants in the surrounding landscape, while the enhanced lighting and bicycle racks makes it easy for cyclists to switch from two wheels to four.” One solution addressed multiple societal issues – access to public transportation in underserved communities, sustainability, public health and wellbeing, placemaking and community building – showing the power of smart design.


    Lifting underserved communities is something Henao-Robledo, who earned her master’s degree from North Carolina State University and also studied at Appalachian State University and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, works toward professionally with up-and-coming architects as well.


    “An individual’s journey shapes their professional life,” she recently wrote for The Dirt. “But having a profession is not always the case for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), who live daily with implicit bias resulting from systemic racism.”


    Henao-Robledo has worked through Latinos in Architecture in Austin and the American Institute of Architects’ DesignVoice to encourage other minorities to consider a career in landscape architecture. She has taught landscape design at Austin Community College and is the Texas ASLA Chair of the Committee on Student Organizations. Her account in The Dirt outlines ways in which all businesses, not just landscape architecture firms, can do their part to create a diverse and equitable workforce.


    Written at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, Henao-Robledo continued in The Dirt: “I know what it means to feel afraid for the safety of my Black loved ones because they are identified by the color of their skin, not by their contribution to society, educational aspirations, smiles, love, and joy they bring to the world.


    “During a protest in Austin, Texas, I was in awe and bewilderment to discover protesters had shut down Interstate 35, the same interstate that divided Austin to create a ‘Negro District’ via the 1928 master plan and subsequently was segregated by design to create a ‘ghetto for African Americas.’


    “During the protests, as I stood there in my truth, in my brown privilege, I felt a tremendous sadness for the lack of diversity in the landscape architecture profession.


    “Have you ever had to consider the lack of diverse representation of your race in your office, company, or profession? And the pain and sense of injustice it causes?

    “By the year 2043, the U.S. Census Bureau projects the nation to become a majority-minority nation. My hope is practitioners will seize the moment and cultivate the future voices of landscape architecture that reflect the communities we serve.”

    Siboney Díaz-Sánchez – Architect

    It’s impossible not to be political as a Latina architect, in Siboney Díaz-Sánchez’s eyes. With so few women and even fewer Latinx licensed architects in the U.S. – two in five new architects are women and fewer than one in five new architects identify as a racial or ethnic minority, according to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) – the Texas native sees it as imperative to represent those of similar heritage not only in the profession but in the community as well.


    Like Henao-Robledo, Díaz-Sánchez is heavily involved in promoting the field to Latinx youth and mentoring the next generation. She is a founding member of the AIA San Antonio’s Latinos in Architecture Committee with the goal of making design professions accessible, welcoming and inclusive to Latinos.


    Beyond “carving out a space” for other Latinx professionals, she also fights to make sure Latinx community members are heard during her design projects as well. “It is our role as architects, designers, urbanists, and creatives to build for the public’s health, safety, and welfare,” she wrote in a 2019 article for Texas Architect magazine. “We can only truly do this if we talk and listen to the people we are designing for. We need to make our work more accessible, and we need to initiate public conversations sooner about projects that affect people’s lives.”


    Those public conversations are what made people take notice when, in 2018, the Latinos in Architecture Committee (LiA) was asked to revive the historic Plaza Guadalupe. An important part of the community, the plaza was the site of a visit from late Pope John Paul II and hosts cultural festivals and family events. However, recent years had seen an increase in drugs and violent crime.


    The original solution to these problems was to construct a fence around the plaza, controlling access. However, with the help of Díaz-Sánchez and the LiA, a compromise was struck. Working with Latinx and Hispanic community members, even those as young as middle school-aged, revealed exactly how the plaza fit into city life rather than assuming and misinterpreting cultural needs. It was a prime example of how culturally sensitive architects can and should listen to a community.


    Apart from her involvement with LiA, Díaz-Sánchez works for Overland Partners, an architecture firm named a top 50 design firm and top 50 sustainable design firm by Architect magazine and that, according to The Mujerista at the time of the writing, employed 10 Latinx licensed architects, five of them Latina women. Díaz-Sánchez is also a board member of SAY Sí, a youth organization that promotes creativity as a force for positive change in marginalized communities. She has spoken at a number of conferences and written frequently on equality and cultural awareness in the design professions.


    A graduate of Cornell University, Díaz-Sánchez is now a Rose Fellow “working on affordable housing development and placekeeping because they are inherently connected but often intentionally separated.”

    Simón Borrero – Technology developer, entrepreneur

    Not much is certain in the wake of COVID-19. One thing that is for sure, however, is that we overwhelmingly rely on home delivery, whether it’s Amazon packages, groceries or meals. Unless you’re in Latin America, you probably aren’t familiar with one of the key players in this industry, Rappi, cofounded by Colombian Simón Borrero.


    Along with Felipe Villamarin and Sebastian Mejia, Borrero created Rappi, an app-based grocery delivery service, in 2016. The mission: Improving the quality of life for those in Latin America, customers and couriers alike.


    Rappi evolved from a couple of guys taking orders over the phone to an app with more than 80,000 registered users. Users swipe their screens to select products in “aisles.” Borrero, who studied business administration and then taught himself computer programming, says this swiping and the way products are organized in the app sets his service apart from the competition. Although they had been able to connect shoppers with stores that didn’t have much online presence and built partnerships with large brands, people still weren’t happy with the logistics of online grocery shopping.


    Developing the virtual aisles for an easier experience was a matter of listening to customers and adapting the app to their needs. It’s not just about delivering groceries, however. Users can get anything from doughnuts to medicine to lunch, even cash, dropped off by one of Borrero’s couriers or “rappigrocers.” While it may seem that Rappi has its fingers in lots of different pies, it remains primarily a local business with deliveries usually staying within a one-mile radius.


    “We are also trying to rescue the tendero de barrio — the guys who make a living from mom and pop shops,” Borrero told LAVCA, a non-profit venture capital organization in Latin America. “They were the most respected people in their neighborhood. They were honest people who sometimes lent money to their clients. People depended on them for a lot of small things. They knew everyone in the neighborhood, they helped them, and then cities got really big and people became disconnected. Rappi and its employees are becoming the people who help the neighborhood. We worked really hard on that, and they feel it, so they wear their jacket with pride.”


    Rappi is doing its best to provide that neighborhood support in one of the most difficult global economic situations this generation has ever seen. As Colombia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases continued to increase to over 286,000 by the end of July, Rappi tested robots. It was the company’s attempt to keep customers and employees safer while maintaining its service mission. Early trials were successful, although Rappi, like most businesses in the South American country of 49 million people, are still struggling to adapt.


    The user interface for the Rappi app has won numerous awards and Borrero has been named one of MIT Technology Review, Spanish edition’s Innovators Under 35 Colombia 2016.

    These spotlights for Hispanic Heritage Month are part of a series recognizing trailblazers in home design, construction technology and business. You can read our previous installments published during Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and PRIDE Month at the Schlage blog.


    Need a bit of privacy? Your home décor can help.

    September 17, 2020 9:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, September 17, 2020

    DIY privacy ideas | Schlage

    You don’t always need to head off to a remote locale when you’re craving a bit of solitude. Here are some of our favorite ways to create a sense of privacy right where you live.



    Do you wish you could get a little time for yourself? Maybe your neighbor’s deck feels right on top of yours. You don’t always need to head off to a remote locale when you’re craving a bit of solitude. Here are some of our favorite ways to create a sense of privacy right where you live.
    Creating privacy with home decor.


    All of us need a bit of alone time occasionally. Unfortunately, our home’s layout doesn’t always lend itself to seclusion. Try these stylish tips for creating privacy in your home’s interior so you can focus, recharge and relax, even if you have an open floorplan.


    Standing screens are a traditional way to add privacy to any room, but how you style it –vibrant color, chalkboard paint, decorative fabric, lit-up tree branches – is where you can really add your personal touch.

    Larger furniture

    Bookshelves may be the most common furniture-turned-room divider, but a headboard or cabinet that’s finished on both sides can be just as effective.

    Shipping pallets

    Ideal for lovers of upcycling and DIY projects, reusing raw materials like shipping pallets can help break up spaces of an industrial size or style.


    If you have the space to build upward, a loft creates the perfect cozy hideaway.


    That unused corner or unexplained notch under the stairs can be turned into the semi-secluded reading nook or small office you need to focus.

    French doors

    Block sound but not light from a passageway by installing French doors.


    Just because you head out on your front porch doesn’t mean you have to be on display for the whole neighborhood. Create the illusion of space between you and your neighbors with these outdoor privacy hacks. You’ll find they may also provide a bit of extra shade.

    Deck privacy wall

    Perfect for when your neighbors are really close, a wall like this one from Handmade Haven adds privacy and possibilities for additional decor.

    Porch curtains

    Just as you would hang curtains to block the intense sun or your neighbors’ view of your bedroom, you can use curtains for shade and privacy on your porch.


    If you’re going to work in the garden anyway, make your plants do a bit of work for you, too. Trees and tall shrubs make excellent screens.


    Latticework around a patio or along your property’s border can be a beautiful alternative to the standard fence. Hang potted flowers or let climbing plants create extra privacy with a splash of color.

    At Schlage, we believe any house can be transformed into your perfect home. Find more ideas for putting your personal touch on your home and making it work for your lifestyle at the Schlage blog or Pinterest.


    Get smart and healthy with wellness technology for your home.

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

    Wednesday, September 16, 2020

    Wellness technology | Schlage

    Try some of these high-tech options if you’re designing a wellness home or encouraging your family to be healthier.



    Many predicted that the average home in 2020 would have about 500 smart devices. It’s reasonable to ask at least some of that technology to help you achieve your health goals. More people are even expecting it from the get-go. Try some of these high-tech options if you’re designing a wellness home or encouraging your family to be healthier.
    Man sitting on couch looking at tablet while drinking coffee.

    Smart tech in the kitchen

    We recently wrote about going low-tech in wellness design and shared kitchen tips like creating an efficient floorplan and ventilation to improve your eating habits. Smart devices can help in a lot of the same ways, especially if you pair them with those more traditional solutions.


    Many devices, including smart refrigerators or this counter they’re testing in the WHIT lab, can help you find healthy recipes based on the ingredients you have on hand. Some might also talk you through the recipe, sharing how-to videos, offering ingredient substitutions and helping with meal prep. This smart home aid can take some of the struggle out of eating healthy, especially when the main obstacle is know-how.


    Look into smart appliances and fixtures that can help you on your culinary journey as well. Delta VoiceIQ is a smart faucet that senses and adjust water temperature, is voice controlled and can measure the exact amount of water you need, even if you’re using an unusual container. And some smart ovens will monitor whatever’s cooking to make sure your meal is plated at the right temperature and never dried out (hopefully). Think how much easier it is to feed your family well when what you serve is prepared to perfection.

    Smart tech in the bedroom

    We’re all familiar with that sleepy feeling that makes us feel sluggish, cranky and unproductive during the day. Two of the most impactful ways to get better sleep are through improving air quality and lighting. Although studies show that poor air quality does not cause sleep deprivation, they are linked. When it’s harder to breathe at night, you are likely to have a harder time getting to sleep and staying there, similar to those with sleep apnea. It can also increase the chances of other respiratory disorders.


    You can upgrade your HVAC system to more effectively handle air toxins or get an air purifier to do the same job on a smaller scale. Keep in mind that some indoor air quality monitors that do just that – monitor. Investigate all the features of a device if you want something that can not only detect VOCs and allergens but also automatically make the necessary adjustments to improve the air quality.


    Artificial light interrupts our circadian rhythm, meaning it makes it more difficult to sleep at night and feel refreshed in the morning. Adjustable color temperature lighting can help counteract this problem by mimicking natural sunlight and helping us reset our sleep schedule, improve mood and reduce anxiety. Aside from its everyday benefits, circadian lighting has been shown to also help those who suffer from seasonal depressive disorder as well as those recovering from jetlag or unusual work schedules.


    In an unexpected twist on circadian lighting, WHIT uses it under the stairs. Not only will you avoid harsh artificial light as you head to bed, but it also reduces fall hazards.


    To state the obvious, windows let in valuable natural light. It’s why so many people promote putting your home office near a window. But when they let in too much light, keeping you awake during longer summer days or by overheating the room, consider smart tinted windows or automatic solar-adaptive shades that adjust based on the sun’s location. For something in between these automatic solutions and simple blackout curtains, look for remote-controlled window treatments.

    Smart tech in the home gym

    If exercising more is part of your wellness goal, there are more and more at-home options right at your fingertips. Of course, you can opt for smart rowing machines, Peleton and Mirror, which will guide you through workouts and provide feedback to keep you moving. But those aren’t your only options.


    If you’re a runner who wants more out of their treadmill workouts, try these earphones that can monitor your stride. By tracking things like pace and balance, it can improve your training and maybe even help you avoid injury.


    No one likes an injury. Access to physical therapy can mean the difference between getting back to daily activities and forever being hampered by aches and pains, especially among older adults. Some smart devices and healthcare providers now offer at-home physiotherapy sessions, perfect when you can’t make it to an office or gym for rehab.


    Finally, lest you think you need special subscription services to get a good sweat going, consider smart speakers and smart screens – it could be as simple as casting from your laptop to your television – to improve your workouts. Great music can promote better fitness. Make your space work as hard as you are and improve your chances at success.


    Don’t forget about making your mind stronger, too, whether it’s a smart yoga mat or apps to help with meditation and mental health.

    Smart tech for mother-in-law suites

    Multigenerational homes are becoming increasingly common. If you have a mother-in-law suite or a separate apartment on the property, these smart home devices can give everyone peace of mind without limiting independence. Fall sensors detect when someone has slipped and, if that person is unable to get up, some of those devices will contact emergency personnel. Not all fall sensors are camera-based so you can still install some in bathrooms without sacrificing privacy.


    If you or your loved one needs help remembering to take medications, smart pill bottles or even a simple schedule reminder from Alexa can help them stay on track.


    Alexa and other voice assistants can do more than just remind you of things, though. They can be great for those whose vision impairments make it difficult to see a clock or read a recipe, or for someone who is unable to reach a phone if they need emergency assistance. Some studies have found that voice assistants that offer games can also help improve cognition and loneliness, two common risks to overall health among older adults.

    We know technology can sometimes seem overwhelming, but once you get started, you’ll love the ways it makes your life more convenient, safer and more fun. Find answers to some of your burning tech questions at the Schlage blog or follow us on Twitter.


    How to protect electronics during a disaster.

    September 15, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, September 15, 2020

    Protecting electronics during disasters | Schlage

    Emergencies can happen any time, which is why it’s best to be prepared. These tips for protecting personal electronics and appliances during a disaster are a good place to start.



    Emergencies can happen any time, which is why it’s best to be prepared. How you prepare depends on what kind of emergency – hurricane, fire, flooding, tornado, winter storm – you’re likely to face and whether evacuating your home will be necessary. The tips below for protecting personal electronics and appliances during a disaster are a good place to start. We hope you never have to use them, but with proper planning, you can lower the risk of damage to your home, family and peace of mind.
    Woman using laptop.

    What you can do today to prepare for an emergency

    You don’t have to wait until the last minute to make many of your preparations. When you put together your emergency kit, take some time to safeguard the rest of your home as well.


    • When it comes to personal electronics you’ll want to keep with you during an emergency, pack extra wall chargers. Remember chargers for cell phones, laptops and tablets, and any electronic medical devices, for example, and include them in your emergency evacuation kit.

    • Get portable chargers or battery backups, especially for cell phones, and pack those, too.

    • Back up important information on the Cloud. This includes important documents, an inventory of valuable belongings for insurance purposes, emergency contact info for you or family members out of state, medical information or all of the above. If they’re on the Cloud, you don’t have to worry about your laptop’s hard drive getting damaged during the emergency. A USB or external hard drive are other options but more susceptible to damage.

    • If fire and earthquake are concerns, get a sturdy, portable case to protect your devices from impact by falling debris or flames.

    • Install surge protectors. Some electronics are especially vulnerable and can fry their chips during a power surge.

    • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and replace their batteries on a regular basis. This not only helps protect your personal wellbeing, but early detection can also let you take swift action to protect your material possessions, electronics included.

    How to protect home electronics before an emergency

    If a disaster or evacuation seem imminent, it’s time to start putting your family’s emergency preparedness plan into action. But remember: Your first priority is staying safe and alive. Only take these steps if you are not in immediate danger.


    • Charge your devices completely so you don’t have to worry about the battery when power goes down or you no longer have access to an outlet.

    • Take your car charger with you if you need to evacuate. And don’t worry about it draining your car battery.

    • Unplug and move electronics to a high location in case of flooding. Also unplug major appliances before an emergency. Refrigerators and freezers can stay connected to power unless there’s a risk of flooding.

    • Turn off the main breaker to protect your home appliances and technology from power surges. Make sure everyone in the home knows how to complete this task. The same goes for the main gas and water valves.

    • Lock your doors and windows to help protect electronics, and everything else, from potential break-ins. If you have a Schlage smart lock, rest assured that your door will remain locked even if the power and WiFi go down. You just won’t have remote access capabilities without WiFi. Don’t worry about getting locked out, either. You will still be able to get in by unlocking the deadbolt at the touchscreen or by using a manual key. Schlage smart locks are battery operated and not connected to the home’s power.

    How you can protect electronics and appliances during a disaster

    Once you’re in the thick of an emergency, your top priority is to keep you and your family safe. You can also take steps to avoid making the situation worse and putting unnecessary strain on yourself and first responders.


    • Pack cell phones, computers and other personal electronics in plastic zipper bags or waterproof bags. Because we often rely on our cell phones to contact loved ones or emergency personnel, and get information and other alerts, it’s all about protecting that lifeline, whether it’s during a fire, flood, heavy rain or severe snow.

    • Use flashlights, not candles, during a power outage to limit the risk of fire damage.

    • Never use a generator inside your home. Generators emit carbon monoxide, creating a situation that’s potentially more hazardous than what you started with.

    • Don’t use electronics or appliances that have been submerged in water. Best case scenario, they simply won’t work. Worst case scenario, you inadvertently start another emergency.

    • Don’t turn on the power or use electronics without an inspection by a qualified electrician first. They will be able to advise you on what needs to be repaired or replaced before the next use.

    It’s never fun to contemplate natural disasters, home emergencies and all the anxiety that comes with them. However, it’s even less fun to try to deal with these situations without a plan in place. Find more ways to protect your home and loved ones at the Schlage blog.


    Best fall decor ideas from home experts.

    September 11, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, September 11, 2020

    Fall decor ideas | Schlage

    At Schlage, we’ve been writing about how to decorate your home, no matter the season, for years, so we thought we’d pull together a list of some of our favorite suggestions.



    We know you can google “simple fall decor ideas” and get millions of results. But why not jump straight to the best? At Schlage, we’ve been writing about how to decorate your home, no matter the season, for years, so we thought we’d pull together a list of some of our favorite suggestions. We now present: Schlage’s Best of Fall Decor.
    Best fall decor ideas from home experts.

    Best Color Tip: Choose copper

    There’s no need to ditch the beloved reds, yellows and browns of fall. Just give them a bit of extra pizzazz with metallics as well. Including accessories with a copper finish will keep your fall décor from looking flat, not to mention reflect some of that magical light that comes in autumn. Try accessories like shimmering lanterns and other light fixtures, copper and gold-toned plant containers or pumpkins painted with metallics.

    Here are more fall color palettes to try on your front porch.

    Best Porch Decor: Bring out the textiles

    The coldest weather hasn’t moved in yet, so you can still enjoy some front porch relaxation. You just need to take a few extra steps to make it cozy. Add some pillows to a porch swing, freshen up some patio chairs with plush cushions or wrap up in a fluffy throw blanket. With these finishing touches, it doesn’t even matter if you’re lounging solo or hanging out with family.

    But how can we pick just one thing to make our fall front porch decor really shine? Give some tips from these past Schlage blogs a shot:


    Best Curb Appeal: Plant a veggie window box

    You can’t go wrong with fall container gardens, but if you want to put a unique spin on them, try a window box with seasonal vegetables. We highlighted Driven by Décor’s arrangement in our DIY fall front porch décor ideas blog, so you can see how stunning the curb appeal is with peppers, gourds and cabbage of all things.

    For even more curb appeal ideas for fall, try this post about getting your home ready for the season without breaking the bank.

    Best Halloween Decor Ideas: Personalize your pumpkins

    Do you like your pumpkins to be cute or scary? Carved or painted? Is it called a pumpkin or a jack-o-lantern? Our top Halloween décor tip is to personalize your pumpk … jack-o-lan … whatever, to make it your own. Our blog of DIY Halloween decorations with pumpkins has ideas everyone will love, whether you’re letting folks know you’re a food allergy-friendly home during trick or treat, you like the glitz and glam of Art Deco or you want to be a fairytale princess.

    Look for more Halloween tips like these for getting your front door décor ready for a Halloween party or decorations inspired by the stranger things you see on TV.

    Best Thanksgiving Tip: Be thankful

    There’s no better time than right now to express gratitude for what and who you have around you. And especially if you aren’t one for grand gestures, décor can be the perfect simple way to show your appreciation. It could be a porch sign that welcomes guests with a positive message. Maybe it’s a cheerful wreath to remind you every day of the good things in life. This is one simple fall décor idea that keeps on giving.

    Check out these 5 ways to welcome your guests at the front door this Thanksgiving and give thanks for your home’s security.

    Best Home Safety Project: Do a door audit

    Updating your front door can do wonders for your security and your style. If your door hardware is showing signs of wear, maybe the finish is chipped or there are scratches, this fall could be the perfect time to upgrade to a new handleset or an electronic lock that adds smart, keyless convenience.


    Check the condition of your door and the frame as well. If they’re cracked, warped or otherwise damaged, even the best of locks won’t be able to stop an intruder. When you replace a beat-up door, it’ll look good and work even better.


    We have tons of other home security projects you can tackle this fall and simple tasks for a safe and cozy home for you at the Schlage blog.


    Need more inspiration? Find us on Pinterest. If you’re thinking about holiday entertaining, our blog has some ideas for you there, too. Get started by checking out our toast to fall with how to create the perfect seasonal bar cart or how to make overnight guests feel at home.


    23 DIY fall front porch decor ideas you should try.

    September 10, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020

    Fall front porch decor | Schlage

    No matter what fall looks like to you, Schlage wants to help you usher the season in with style. Try these 23 fall front porch ideas you can DIY today.



    The arrival of fall signals more than just cooler temperatures and rustling leaves. For many of us, it’s the start of the holiday season. It might be cozy gatherings, even if it’s just with one other person in front of a fire pit or movie. Or maybe that autumnal vibe only comes with costumes and candy for the kids. No matter what fall looks like to you, Schlage wants to help you usher the season in with style. Try these 23 fall front porch ideas you can DIY today.

    Natural fall wreath » Finding Home Farms

    All you need is a trip to the craft store, or even just your backyard depending on where you live, to pull this natural fall wreath together. Its understated style is just what you need if you gravitate toward rustic or farmhouse design.

    A wreath for all seasons » Cribbs Style

    Not all fall décor has to be orange, yellow and rusty reds. This more subtle approach may be more to your liking, especially if you live in a warmer climate. It has the added benefit of transitioning well into winter. Simply swap out the blooms, sunflowers in this case, for something in the bright red or ice blue family, and you’re set for the next season.

    Warm-weather fall wreath » Living Green Design on Houzz

    What can you do if you live in a warmer climate but still want to enjoy all that fall has to offer? Try sticking with traditional fall colors to start. Then put a regional twist on your favorite fall wreath ideas. Here they used fruit, still in the oranges, yellows and reds we expect, but more appropriate for sunny California, especially against that vibrant door.

    Veteran’s Day porch decor » Tatertots & Jello

    It’s easy to zoom straight from Halloween to Thanksgiving, but don’t forget about Veteran’s Day in early November. Get inspired by Fourth of July décor and tweak it for the season. We like this neutral-colored patriotic wreath that still shows national pride but without the vibrant red, white and blue that might look amiss in the fall.

    Not-a-wreath door decor » Jaime Costiglio

    Shake up the front door décor by skipping the wreath and opting instead for giant tags. Their “give thanks” message, honestly, works year-round, but you really can’t go wrong with them as the holiday season approaches. Feel free to branch out, though. Choose your own message to welcome guests in your unique way and make this DIY fall project your own.

    Fresh, fall-friendly door » HGTV

    If you’ve been thinking about a new coat of paint for the front door, maybe this is the ideal time to go for it. Don’t be afraid of rich colors that will serve as the perfect backdrop for your fall porch décor and beyond. Remember that switching out accessories, from your wreath to the door hardware, can give that entryway a fresh look.

    DIY pumpkin doormat » Better Homes & Gardens

    Is it really a porch without a doormat? Plenty of stores, online and in person, have pre-made mats for any time of year. But you can put your personal touch on a basic coir mat with some paint and stencils, making this one of the simpler DIY fall projects to try.

    Front porch chalkboard » Ella Claire & Co.

    Maybe the best part about this fall porch sign is its versatility. The message is entirely up to you. Change it daily, weekly or with the seasons. Paint it to match your door or house, or pick a contrasting color for an extra pop. It’s entirely up to you.

    Pallet sign for fall front porches » Taryn Whiteaker

    We’ve all seen the signs made of a single board with something seasonal stenciled or painted on them. Those are great, especially if your porch is on the small or narrow side. For something less common, though, try a pallet sign. It can still be painted, stenciled or embellished any which way you choose, but more real estate might mean more design options.

    House number pumpkin stack » At the Picket Fence

    We love décor that pulls extra duty. This pumpkin topiary would be festive enough on its own, but add the house numbers and you have something that’s as functional as it is fun. Use faux pumpkins so they hold up well beyond Halloween. We think a fourth pumpkin with “welcome” painted on it would be a nice touch here as well.

    No-carve pumpkins » A Beautiful Mess

    This writer might be one of the few people who loves the feeling of pumpkin guts on her hands, but carving your pumpkin shortens its shelf (or porch) life. Try no-carve decorating options like painting, stenciling and gluing leaves or other embellishments instead. This technique is often more kid-friendly, too.

    Fall patio pillows » Tidbits

    A low-investment way to update your front porch for the season is to switch out the cushions on your patio furniture or add textiles like blankets to create the cozy vibe. This DIY fall project involves printing designs onto pillows. If sewing is more up your alley, you can always make yourself some new pillowcases or slipcovers that match your fall color scheme.

    Customized garland » Southern Living

    Don’t wait until Christmas to hang garland. Use fall foliage – these look like magnolia leaves – or, if you can’t find something exactly to your taste, buy a basic garland and spice it up with pumpkins and other accessories you love.

    Crafty kids’ windchime » The Benson Street

    Let the kids get in on the fall décor action by helping them craft a new windchime for the front porch. This one uses a mix of store-bought items and those found in the yard. The key is to let their creativity run free so they can put their own stamp on the home you share.

    Feeder for fall birds » The Garden Roof Coop

    Feeding local birds through the fall is a great way to help them store up energy for migration or supplement their diet when food sources run low. Stock it with black oil sunflower seed, suet, nuts, cracked corn and other foods that are best for birds in the fall.

    Seasonal vegetable window box » Driven by Décor

    Use the season’s bounty with any of your plantings. We especially love this unique take on a fall window box that uses just a single flower. The rest is peppers, gourds and ornamental cabbage. Kale is another common fall-foliage vegetable to try for curb appeal.

    Fall container gardens » Houzz

    Potted plants are always in season. The greenery – or in the case of fall, orangery? – can be switched out easily. Even the containers themselves can help create that seasonal festive look. Consider different materials. A wooden crate lends itself to an apple-picking, PSL-sipping ambience. Make your best fall planter ideas a reality and place your containers along your front porch and walkway or even out by the mailbox.

    Black cat decor » HGTV

    Line your walkway with some not-too-spooky Halloween décor. Black cat cut-outs are cute and seasonal, but HGTV also has tutorials for giant rats, crows and owls, if that’s more your style.

    Metallic accents » HGTV

    Copper accessories add just enough glitz to offset natural, matte finishes like wood and foliage commonly seen in fall décor. Because copper is in the gold family, it will still complement other fall elements seamlessly. Incorporate copper in fixtures like lighting or paint for pumpkins, flower pots and more.

    Cozy fall porch lighting » Better Homes & Gardens

    The night might be crisper, but with a blanket and some warm company, you can still hang out on the porch after dark. String lights, lanterns or candles can help keep the mood bright.

    Pet doors can be decor » Houzz

    If you have a screened-in porch and a pup, fall is the perfect season for installing a pet door. When the weather gets muddy and the early-morning temperatures drop, you’ll appreciate having a buffer zone where you can wipe down your dog’s paws before letting them in the house and where you can wait in the semi-warmth while they take care of business. To keep your home secure, install the pet door on the screen door, not your main entryway.

    Fall decor on every level » Country Living

    Take your favorite DIY fall project ideas and take them vertically. If you have a second-story porch, balcony or simply a façade that craves some décor, take advantage of it.

    A little bit of everything » Jenna Sue Design

    It is possible to choose all of your favorite fall décor without your porch looking overcrowded. Stick with a single color palette – classic fall tones offset with neutral whites in this case – for a more cohesive look. The yellow mums play nicely with the warm glow of the lanterns, the detailing on the flower pots gets new life next to the orange pumpkins and the white gourds complement the rocking chair to lighten the entire scene.

    Show us how you’re celebrating the fall season by sharing your front porch décor projects with us on Facebook or Instagram. And if all this has you thinking about holiday time – Thanksgiving will be here before you know it – try the Schlage blog for helpful tips on hosting and preparing for the coming festivities.


    Stuck inside? Try these fun fall crafts for kids of all ages.

    September 8, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, September 8, 2020

    DIY monster Halloween crafts | Schlage

    Looking for indoor activities for kids to keep them busy this fall? Try some (or all) of these seasonal projects you can do inside or out when the weather is just right.



    Looking for indoor activities for kids to keep them busy this fall? Try some (or all) of these seasonal projects you can do inside or out when the weather is just right. Whether they’re into pumpkins, monsters or the fun colors of changing leaves, these fall crafts for kids are sure to keep them happy.
    Two kids making fall crafts from leaves.

    Don’t “leaf” them to their own devices

    • Suncatchers – Don’t fret about overcast fall days. These leafy suncatchers can add some color. Cut leaf patterns out of coffee filters and dye them before affixing them to your windows or help the kiddos press their favorite leaves between contact paper for a stained-glass effect.

    • Pressed-leaf bookmark – Start this one early in the fall by collecting leaves or small flowers. Press them in a large book, then use stock paper and contact paper to make personalized autumn bookmarks.

    • Leaf rubbings – No special equipment needed here. Grab some paper, crayons and interesting leaves and make a rubbing. You might also do a leaf print with paint. For an extra educational component, research the leaf and the tree it came from with your child.

    • Leaf people – These are some of the cutest (and easiest) leaf projects around. Have your kiddo paste them to sheets of paper and draw a funny face for a leaf creature they’ll love. It’s a great fall craft for preschoolers.

    • Q-tip tree – Bring fall foliage inside by helping your little one paint a tree. Simply grab some paint – reds, oranges, yellows and browns, of course – and dab on the “leaves” with the end of the Q-tip.
    Freshly picked apples in baskets.

    Get to the (apple) core of the fun

    • Apple banners – It’s time to break out the paint again. Cut an apple in half for your youngster, then let them use the cut side as a stamp. This tutorial uses pieces of burlap for the banner, but you could easily use cardstock or other paper. Don’t forget to cut up another apple for a healthy fall snack.

    • Pumpkin-shaped stamps – Follow the same steps above, but opt for orange paint instead. Add a face, perhaps with googly eyes, and a green stem for the cutest little apple/pumpkins ever.

    • Felt pencil topper – Part fall fun, part back-to-school. Try these DIY pencil toppers with your child. Who knows? It might be the perfect pick-me-up if school days have them down or you’re struggling with e-learning.

    • Lacing craft – Let your little one test their hand at weaving with a paper plate lacing craft. Red yarn gives you the apple look, but feel free to branch out to other fall favorites like pumpkins.
    Children carving pumpkins.

    Carve out some family time with your little pumpkins

    • Melted crayon pumpkins – Skip the carving and painting and try this colorful pumpkin hack instead. Use up the last of the crayon stubs by melting them on top of the pumpkin and letting the colors drip down the sides. We especially like this on a white pumpkin so the colors really stand out.

    • Seed art – Save the seeds when you carve pumpkins. After they dry out, paint the seeds and use them to create all kinds of art. Your kiddos can glue them to paper in various designs, as the leaves for a tree or kernels for a colorful corn cob, or in letters to practice the alphabet.

    • Geoboard – We bet your kids won’t even know they’re learning with this DIY pumpkin geoboard. The exact supplies depend on their age, but in the end, you’re looking for a pumpkin stuck full of push pins, golf tees or other pegs. When they connect the pegs with rubber bands and string, they’ll be learning motor skills, geometric shapes and generally flexing their creative muscle.

    • Paint chip pumpkins – Snag some orange paint sample cards at the hardware store and a marker and you’re all set for an easy DIY pumpkin or jack-o-lantern. Choose other colors – red for apples, green or purple for monsters – and make whatever creatures and fall-themed paper crafts your kid desires.

    • Dog treats – Have a furry “kid,” too? They probably won’t be able to help you bake these dog-friendly pumpkin treats, but they’ll certainly appreciate your effort.
    Hedgehog made of sunflower seeds and clay.

    Plant a seed for creativity

    • Pinecone wreath – Collect pinecones and affix them to a store-bought wreath form. Hot glue works best, so either provide plenty of supervision or save this project for older crafters. Add some color by mixing in leaves and other fall plants and ribbon.

    • Forest friends – There’s seemingly no end to the number of critters your child can create using a pinecone as the base. Try rabbits and hedgehogs, owls and turkeys. Extra credit if they make a whole forest scene like the autumnal version of a nativity.

    • Birdfeeder – We at Schlage remember this classic from our own childhood. Slather a pinecone – big ones work best – with peanut butter and roll it in bird seed. Hang it from a tree and get ready to play eye-spy with the neighborhood’s feathered friends … and probably a few squirrels.

    • Painted pinecones – Just because pinecones are most plentiful during the fall doesn’t mean you have to paint them fall colors. If your tiny tike is more into pink or loves a brilliant green, we say let them go for it. Metallic paint, and glitter if you’re brave, gives the pinecones extra pizzazz.
    Halloween Monsters made from toilet paper rolls.

    Scare up some monster crafts for fall

    • Paper bag puppets – Keep your kids busy this fall with these paper bag monster puppets. Not only will they be occupied painting and pasting the bags in the first place, but you could get some extra entertainment by having them plan and perform a puppet show at the end.

    • Cheesecloth ghosts – Here’s another classic. Help your kids make their own Casper using cheesecloth, fabric stiffener and glue. They can stand on their own as a centerpiece or hang them under the porch for some front door Halloween décor.

    • Cardboard box spider – Still have some Amazon boxes laying around? This DIY project for kids uses the all-stars of crafting – paint, pipe cleaners, craft paper and glue, and googly eyes – for some adorable arachnids.

    • Tell monster stories – Encourage your kids to spin an autumnal yarn by having them write or tell stories. Monster and ghost tales are great for fall. You can also prompt them with something less spooky and have them tell you about the adventures of some woodland creatures. See if they’d like to draw pictures to illustrate the stories they tell.

    • Monster slime – Help your little one practice their numbers with a craft that combines counting with the ooey-gooey. Monster slime + number cards = fun for all.

    Keeping everyone in the family busy and learning can be challenging but extremely rewarding. Visit the Schlage blog for ways to help your kids build home improvement skills, garden ideas to help them grow and DIY projects to teach them about garden bugs and birds.


    DIY fall crafts for kids.


    Mechanical deadbolt vs. smart lock: How to choose

    September 4, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, September 4, 2020

    Mechanical deadbolt vs. Smart lock | Schlage

    We’ve weighed the pros and cons of mechanical and smart locks to help you choose the best deadbolt for your home.



    Choosing the right deadbolt requires more than picking out the best deal on the shelf. When you want to keep your home and family safe, you need a lock that fits your lifestyle and provides security you can trust. We’ve weighed the pros and cons of mechanical and smart locks to help you choose the best deadbolt for your home.


    Schlage mechanical deadbolt and smart lock with blue check marks.

    Look for locks that are graded for your security needs. The Builder’s Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) rates locks for security, finish and durability. A grade of A is considered “Best,” while a C is “Good.” Nearly all of Schlage locks, both mechanical and smart, are rated AAA, so you can have peace of mind that your home is safe with Schlage.


    If we had to give an edge to one of them, however, it would probably go to our smart locks. The Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt and Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt both come with built-in alarms, so you’ll be alerted when there’s a disturbance at the door. And when you’ve enabled your smart lock for remote capability, you’ll get that alarm notification on your phone, even when you’re not home.

    Keyless convenience

    Schlage mechanical deadbolt without check mark and smart lock with blue check mark.

    If you live an active lifestyle, keys can be a drag. It's a pain to walk the dog or go for a run with keys bouncing in your pocket. And good luck trying to find a secure place to hide the key until you return. For all those times you come home with your hands full – controlling the dog on his leash, after grocery shopping, carrying the kids – you certainly don’t want to be fumbling around to unlock your door.


    Unique access codes for your smart lock allow you to enjoy a simpler way to access your home. With the touchscreen or keypad, which are either illuminated or back-lit so there’s no guessing in the dark, you can stop the balancing act. This head-to-head win goes to smart locks.

    Access control

    Schlage mechanical deadbolt without check mark and smart lock with blue check mark.

    If you have a housekeeper, friend or other service personnel who needs access to your home when you're not around, how will you make that happen? With a mechanical deadbolt, you’ll need to either hide a spare key or make an extra for them to keep. Unfortunately, this means they’ll have access to your home at any time of day or night. And don’t even get us started on how easy it is for a potential intruder to find the spare under a fake rock.


    For better control over who has access to your home and when, choose an electronic lock. All you need to do is program a unique access code for each trusted person and decide if you want their code to work all the time, only at certain times of the day or only until a certain date. This is useful for a babysitter who may come to your home frequently but should only be there after school or when you’re asking a neighbor to walk the dog while you’re on vacation.


    One more feature that gives the edge to smart locks in the realm of access control: The Schlage Home app. Use the app to see when codes are used and to track the access codes you’ve assigned to friends and family. It’s just one of several secure ways to store your codes.

    Not getting locked out

    Schlage mechanical deadbolt without check mark and smart lock with blue check mark.

    How many times have you shut the door on your wait out only to realize that you left your keys inside? And there’s probably more than one story about your kid losing or forgetting their key, forcing them to wait alone on the porch. To avoid an expensive call to the locksmith or finding a creative – and unsafe – way into the house, choose a smart lock.


    We’ve already talked about keyless convenience and access codes, but when your smart lock has remote capability, you can also use your smart phone to lock or unlock the door for trusted visitors. A few taps in the app and you can let your kids in the front door even while you’re still at work.


    Don’t worry about getting locked out because of battery failure on your smart lock, either. Schlage smart locks will alert you – on the lock itself, in the Schlage Home app or both – when your battery is running low. You’ll have plenty of advance notice to make the switch.


    Schlage mechanical deadbolt with blue check mark and smart lock without check mark.

    Both mechanical and smart locks are available at a range of price points, but mechanical deadbolts do tend to be less expensive. Most electronic locks are priced anywhere from $100-$300 depending on the number of features and level of security they offer. If budget is a concern but you still want to go high-tech, consider an electronic deadbolt that does not have home automation capabilities, like the Schlage Touch™ Keyless Touchscreen Deadbolt.


    Whichever type of lock you choose, remember to factor in those BHMA security grades before you buy. A cheap lock could be more likely to wear down, causing you to spend more in the long run on repairs and replacements. A cheaper, lower quality lock could also work less effectively in the first place, putting the things you care about at risk.

    Easy to install

    Schlage mechanical deadbolt and smart lock with blue check marks.

    The only clear winner when it comes to installation is you. Installing a Schlage lock – both mechanical and smart – is simple. All you need is a screwdriver and a few minutes’ time. Our deadbolts are also designed to fit on all standard door preps, so there’s no drilling or resizing required to put them in place.


    Don’t let the words “electronic” and “smart” scare you, either. Our locks are battery-powered, no hardwiring required, so you can install Schlage smart locks on your own. Save the call to your local handyman or electrician for a tougher job.


    Our How-To Center has step-by-step tutorials and videos to show you how simple installation can be.

    Style options

    Schlage mechanical deadbolt with blue check mark and smart lock without check mark.

    Mechanical locks and front door handlesets generally feature a wider range of styles and finishes. On the other hand, electronic locks often come in sleek designs but are limited to just a handful of finishes. If creating a cohesive look from the front door, throughout your home’s interior and to the back patio is a high priority, you’ll find more options with mechanical door hardware.


    Our Style Selector can help you choose a look for your deadbolt and handleset combo as well as interior door knobs and levers.

    Smart home compatibility

    Schlage mechanical deadbolt without check mark and smart lock with blue check mark.

    Clearly, this one goes to smart locks. When home automation is important to you – for the energy savings, additional convenience, extra security or just plain fun – you want a smart lock. A mechanical deadbolt would be like trying to use a curling iron to turn on the radio. It simply won’t work. Pay attention to which smart locks work with which technology to make sure it’s compatible with your existing smart home hubs and devices.


    Now that you’ve weighed your options and decided which priorities are most important to you, visit to see all our mechanical and electronic products and find a retailer near you. That’s where you’ll also find our Get Help Deciding Tool that will help you choose the right smart lock for your home.


    Life-changing home innovations of the last century.

    September 3, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, September 3, 2020

    Home innovations | Schlage

    What innovations have changed how we live in our homes most dramatically? We're taking a look at our top 10 home inventions that help us live healthier and longer.



    We’re turning 100! Over 10 weeks, Schlage is sharing its favorite top-10 lists. That’s 100 tips, ideas and moments of inspiration so you can enjoy the safety, simplicity and style of Schlage for another 100 years to come.


    What innovations have changed how we live in our homes most dramatically? The inventions that transformed our houses into places of leisure and comfort instead of mere shelter? That have helped us live longer and healthier? That list could run forever, but here are 10 home innovations we can’t, and wouldn’t want to, live without today.

    Happy family in kitchen.

    1. Electricity

    Electricity wasn’t invented in the last century, but it did take until the 1920s for it to become common in average homes. It ultimately enabled modern refrigeration (food safety), vacuums and electric irons (added convenience), electric lighting indoors and out (security and comfort), washing machines (sanitation), radios and televisions (entertainment) and countless other devices.

    2. Refrigerators

    Before electric refrigeration, homes relied on an ice box and daily deliveries from the ice peddler. When electric refrigeration became more reliable in the 1940s, we were able to store food more safely for longer periods of time. By being able to store perishables better, our diets improved and we could devote less time to daily grocery shopping. Plus, without the original electric refrigerator, we wouldn’t have today’s smart fridges.

    3. Microwaves

    Is there a kitchen appliance that has done more for the busy or cooking-impaired than the microwave? As stay-at-home moms became less common in the 1970s and kids came home to empty houses, they were able to make their own after-school snack quickly and easily thanks to “radar ranges.” And their mothers were able to take advantage of the growing list of frozen and microwavable dinners from the grocery store. Like the electric refrigerator, for better or for worse, the microwave left a major impact on American diets.

    4. Tupperware

    There’s so much more to Tupperware than mismatched lids. When Tupperware was introduced in the 1940s, it was one of the first solutions to safely storing leftovers. Prior to that, you either made sure you ate every last morsel the first time around or you took your chances with second-day servings.


    These plastic containers go beyond food storage, however. Many women, having had a taste of the workplace during World War II, were back to being homemakers in the 1950s and they weren’t always pleased about it. Tupperware gave these women an opportunity to run their own small-scale business. By hosting Tupperware parties out of their home, they were able to regain some of the feelings of financial independence and empowerment they had enjoyed during wartime.

    5. Locks

    It’s difficult to imagine a time when our homes didn’t have locks, even on exterior doors. Locks have been around for thousands of years with the earliest ones being made of wood. By the Middle Ages, locksmiths used metal for locks and keys, but they were easily picked and, despite their best efforts, not all that secure.


    Although design improved during the Industrial Revolution and beyond, some locks were still problematic. One common issue? A key was needed to lock or unlock the door from both sides and a lost key meant you weren’t going anywhere. In 1921, Walter Schlage patented the push-button lock, allowing you to secure your door without locking yourself in a room. That push-button mechanism is still in use today, 100 years later, in locks and other common items like clickable pens.

    6. Cordless tools

    Where would your DIY and home improvement projects be without the aid of cordless power tools? BLACK+DECKER filed a patent for the first portable electric drill in 1916 and in 1961 introduced the first electric cordless drill. NASA later used BLACK+DECKER’s technology to develop zero-impact wrenches that could turn bolts in zero gravity without spinning the astronaut.

    7. Air monitors

    Devices that monitor the air quality of our home keep us healthy and, oftentimes, alive. Smoke alarms, although existing in some form since the 1890s, were rarely seem in American homes before the 1970s. Carbon monoxide detectors have become more common in the last few decades. And even more recently, we’ve seen devices that measure the quantities of carbon dioxide, radon, formaldehyde and other pollutants in the home. Armed with this information, we’re able to adjust the air quality to sleep better, improve allergies and even reduce our risk of lung cancer.

    8. Sanitation systems

    Sewers date way back, so we’ll just skip straight to the interesting stuff. In medieval times, chamber pots were emptied directly into the street. People were less concerned about hygiene than their clothes, however. Men started wearing high heels to protect their trouser cuffs. Thankfully, society eventually figured out that you can slow the spread of disease if you dispose of your home’s waste appropriately. By around 1950, it’s estimated that because 70 million Americans were connected to sewer systems and 42 million were served by sewage treatment plants, cases of typhoid fever, dysentery and other illnesses declined dramatically.

    9. HVAC

    Controlling the temperature of your home is key to living comfortably, but if you live in a region of extreme cold or heat, it’s a necessity. We’ve made great strides over the years, moving away from wood- or coal-burning stoves that may have only heated a single room and could be dangerous if not properly tended. And many of us now have options beyond just sweating it out on the front porch, hoping for a cool breeze. Today’s HVAC systems also go a long way toward regulating the humidity and air quality of our homes, sometimes with smart and learning technology, setting the stage for healthier living.

    10. Home computers

    Consider all the ways computers impact your daily life. You probably can’t list them all, especially when you think about how Apple’s first personal computer, released in 1977, has since been replaced with laptops, tablets and cellphones. Work and school tasks can now be done at home. We research products and services online. We conduct our banking, buy cars and houses, check medical records, monitor our security and binge Netflix, all from our home computers.

    What other innovations would you add to our list? What would you invent to make your life at home even easier, safer or more environmentally sustainable? Perhaps that thing has already been created. Find technology updates and ideas for making your home work better for you at the Schlage blog.


    McBride, Tom, Nief, Ron. The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages, What Ten Generations of Americans Think is Normal. Wiley, 2011.



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