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    6 simple details that will elevate the style of your home

    November 14, 2017 8:15 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, November 14, 2017

    6 simple details that elevate the style of your home

    How do you get that polished, magazine-worthy style at home? The secret to a perfectly designed space is attention to detail.



    If you’re anything like us, you love checking out the latest styles and trends showcased across interior décor showrooms, magazines, and online. How do they manage to achieve that perfectly stylish yet livable look that makes you want to run out to the story to replicate it at home? The truth is, the secret to a perfectly designed space is attention to detail.


    So how do you get that polished look at home? The first thing to remember is that the spaces you see in magazines were staged and kept in place for the photoshoot. No room that is actually lived in can stay perfect all the time. Which leads us to our number one tip for adding stylish details to your home:

    Design for the function of the room

    When choosing and arranging furniture and other large pieces in a space, keep in mind the natural walkways leading into/out of the room as well as the function the space will serve. Is it a play room for the kids? Or a place for adults to relax by the fire? Maybe it’s a little of both – that’s okay. The key is to make sure items are placed in a way that makes the room easy to use for its intended function and easy to tidy up afterward – an important but surprisingly easy detail to forget.

    Use fixtures to add stylistic balance to a space

    Themes can be fun – when they aren’t overstated. One way to avoid overdoing a particular style and instead add your own fresh take is to choose a few details that differ from the overall theme – door hardware, lighting and plumbing fixtures are perfect for this. If you’re designing a mostly contemporary, modern space, add some ornate Victorian fixtures in a modern finish likes bright chrome. Don’t be afraid to mix styles – variety adds balance!

    Look at lighting in a new way

    When choosing overhead lighting, pay attention to scale – in other words, the size of the room compared to the size of the light. The key, as always, is to maintain a sense of balance – an overhead light with long, hanging embellishments isn’t best for a wide room with low ceilings.


    Lamps are great because simply repositioning them can add a fresh feel to a room you’ve become bored with – without spending a dime.

    Don’t shy away from unique items

    If you want to create a space unlike any other, you’ll need items that are unique to you. It may be your favorite worn old teddy bear from childhood, or a handmade item you bought during a special trip. Keep in mind there are many facets to your personality, so a hodgepodge of eclectic items can work.


    Meaningful items, like heirlooms, often have a place, even if the style doesn’t immediately seem to mesh – we are often so used to looking at them that we forget their potential. Try asking a friend how they would place the item.

    Pull inspiration from your surroundings

    Is your home near a lush forest? Try adding some natural elements of wood or shapes that mimic wild, untamed growth, like vines.


    A beach or lake house is a no-brainer – go straight for that beachy or nautical style if it’s what your heart desires, but use restraint and add details that are specific to you. Maybe the beach house features a vintage fifties surfer style with pastel colors and faded driftwood. Your lake house could invoke your Irish heritage with rich greens and classic novels like Moby Dick lining the shelves. Be creative!

    It isn’t the size of the space, it’s what you do with it

    Don’t focus only on the large spaces of your home – turn an eye toward all the little nooks and crannies. The brightly lit but empty corner by the window could become a cozy reading nook. A striking new color of paint and a few new shelves can make an old, boring closet fresh and fun.

    There are probably thousands of other ideas we haven’t thought of – share your favorite stylish home details by tagging @Schlagelocks on Instagram!

    The ultimate guide to choosing the perfect finish for your home

    November 7, 2017 10:34 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, November 7, 2017

    The ultimate guide to choosing the perfect finish for your home

    Here is an explanation of each of Schlage's twelve finishes, as well as suggestions of knob/lever and trims that go best with each.



    Hardware Finishes - Perfect pairings - Schlage
    Are you thinking about updating your door hardware? Are you also struggling to decide what finish to choose? Schlage offers 12 different finishes so that you can find the perfect look for your whole house. Here is an explanation of each of those finishes, as well as suggestions of knob/lever and trims that go best with each.

    Gold tones

    Door hardware - Finishes - Bright Brass - Schlage

    Bright brass

    Bright Brass is common in older, colonial homes, especially homes styled in the 1990s. The widespread availability of Bright Brass makes it easy to find and, therefore, easy to match with other hardware, fixtures and accessories. This finish will fit easily into almost any house.

    Recommended pairings

    Bright Brass is common in older, colonial homes, especially homes styled in the 1990s. The widespread availability of Bright Brass makes it easy to find and, therefore, easy to match with other hardware, fixtures and accessories. This finish will fit easily into almost any house.

    Coordinates well with

    Vintage style. Bright brass pairs well in homes that have a very classic, elegant style. Homes where an ornate chandelier would not feel out of place.

    Door hardware - Finishes - Satin Brass - Schlage

    Satin brass

    Satin Brass can be considered the “modern brass alternative.” It offers a more refined take on the rustic look of unfinished brass. The Satin Brass finish is becoming one of the most popular choices for the home. The matte look of the Satin Brass finish won’t show fingerprints or tarnish easily, which often makes it more appealing than bright brass.

    Recommended pairings

    Satin Brass looks particularly great on the Georgian knob or Accent lever with Camelot trim.

    Coordinates well with

    Dark surfaces, modern accents and details. This finish is best displayed against dark surfaces where it can really stand out. It fits well with and brings elegance to a house that has modern touches.

    Door hardware - Finishes - Antique Brass - Schlage

    Antique brass

    The Antique Brass finish closely resembles the look of natural brass and has a warm look due to its brown and golden tones. Though Antique Brass stems from the Victorian Era, its high-gloss finish gives it a touch of the modern world.

    Recommended pairings

    The Georgian knob with the elegant Brookshire trim or the Flair lever with Addison trim are often finished in Antique Brass for a sophisticated look.

    Coordinates well with

    Stacked stone and exposed wood. You will often find these elements in Craftsman homes, but many other styles of homes have wood flooring and stone fireplaces.

    Silver tones

    Door hardware - Finishes - Bright Chrome - Schlage

    Bright chrome

    Bright Chrome is inspired by the Art Deco movement and the jazzy style of the roaring 20s, but can easily transition into the minimalist approach of the 1930s and 40s that is becoming more popular in modern styling. The smooth, mirror-like finish makes Bright Chrome a statement piece that could fit into any contemporary home.

    Recommended pairings

    Bright Chrome is often seen on the contemporary Merano lever or the Latitude lever with Century trim.

    Coordinates well with

    Neutral colored doors and walls. Bright Chrome is an eye-catching finish that shines best when it isn’t competing with bright colors.

    Door hardware - Finishes - Satin Chrome - Schlage

    Satin chrome

    Satin Chrome has a contemporary look and feel and originates from the Bauhaus style movement. It is typically used in commercial applications as it is a finish that doesn’t stand out too much and fits in with most styles.

    Recommended pairings

    Satin Chrome feels fashion-forward when paired with the Orbit knob or Elan lever with Century trim.

    Coordinates well with

    Stainless steel appliances, grey tones and reclaimed wood. This finish is modern and clean and does best in an environment that is simple and not overstated.

    Door hardware - Finishes - Polished Nickel - Schlage

    Polished nickel

    Polished Nickel was inspired by the sophistication of the Victorian Era. It is made from solid nickel and a change of lighting can change its color and appearance. The lacquered look of the Polished Nickel finish makes it one of the easiest to clean.

    Recommended pairings

    Polished Nickel looks expertly paired with the Sacramento lever or Bowery knob with Greyson trim.

    Coordinates well with

    Reflective surfaces, glass and bright lighting. Polished Nickel is a bright finish that does best in a bright environment. It shines best when paired with similar surfaces.

    Door Hardware - Finishes - Distressed Nickel - Schlage

    Distressed nickel

    Distressed Nickel has a rustic vibe that is reminiscent of the Old World. Today, the finish is growing increasingly popular and can be seen in urban lofts in cities across the globe. Because Distressed Nickel is tumbled to get the look, no two pieces are exactly alike.

    Recommended pairings

    Distressed Nickel looks particularly stunning on the Georgian knob or Accent lever with Addison trim.

    Coordinates well with

    Reclaimed wood, concrete and exposed brick. This finish fits well into Industrial Modern homes that are styled around exposed building components.

    Door hardware - Finishes - Satin Nickel - Schlage

    Satin nickel

    Satin Nickel rose to popularity with the Victorian and Mid-Century Modern design movements. Satin Nickel looks great against dark colors like black, navy blue or grey. Its looks best when paired with bold, geometric shapes and patterns, bright solid colors and edgy, unconventional furniture.

    Recommended pairings

    Satin Nickel is an excellent finish for almost any piece of Schlage hardware, but is often paired with more refined styles like the Bowery knob or Accent lever with Camelot trim.

    Coordinates well with

    Dark-colored doors and geometric shapes. Satin Nickel is a chic finish that does best when it stands out from its surroundings. Its modern look helps it to go well with bold patterns and furniture.

    Bronze-to-black tones

    Door hardware - Finishes - Oil-Rubbed Bronze - Schlage

    Oil-rubbed bronze

    The Oil-Rubbed Bronze finish is suited for a specific look and feel — blending seamlessly into Mediterranean and Tuscan settings. The dark brown tones in the hardware lend it to warm colors. Oil-Rubbed Bronze is a “living finish” that changes over time to give it a constantly evolving presentation.

    Recommended pairings

    The Oil-Rubbed Bronze finish works with several styles, but looks particularly charming on the Siena knob or Flair lever with Camelot trim.

    Coordinates well with

    Luxurious wallpapers and stone accents. Oil-Rubbed Bronze is all about ornate details that you can find in many Mediterranean and Tuscan homes, but are also very prevalent in Craftsman homes.

    Door hardware - Finishes - Aged Bronze - Schlage

    Aged bronze

    Aged Bronze is a traditionally inspired finish that is styled from the Victorian Era, but also has roots in the Arts & Crafts movement. Aged Bronze works exceptionally well with ornate, handmade, craftsman-style furnishings.

    Recommended pairings

    Aged Bronze lends an air of luxury to the Siena knob with Wakefield trim or Avila lever with Addison trim.

    Coordinates well with

    Natural tones. This could be wood floors or natural paint colors like browns, yellows and greens.

    Door hardware - Finishes - Matte Black - Schlage

    Matte black

    Matte Black has never been more fashionable—catering to a modern look that takes style cues from Bauhaus homes, wrought iron fences and fixtures made by blacksmiths in the Colonial Era. Matte Black is unique in its ability to serve as a bridge between the worlds of modern and traditional styles.

    Recommended pairings

    Matte Black is a stylish and daring choice best suited for the Bowery knob or Broadway lever with Greenwich trim.

    Coordinates well with

    Grey tones, geometric forms and large windows. Matte Black is a modern finish that fits best with a modern look. Big windows help keep a space from feeling too dark and crowded.

    Are you feeling inspired? Get more ideas and inspiration on our Style Talk Pinterest Board.

    4 ways to mix and match materials in your kitchen for a designer look

    October 26, 2017 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, October 26, 2017

    4 ways to mix and match materials in your kitchen for a designer look

    Give your kitchen unexpected flavor by combining wood, stone, glass and more. Here’s how to get the mix right.



    The kitchen is all about mixing and matching. Experienced chefs often love to break away from that ho-hum recipe mold and create something new with a dash of unexpected flavor. Achieving this in your kitchen design is possible in many ways. Here are some tips for combining materials to create a unique kitchen look that suits your individual taste.


    An easy way to get started mixing materials is by using a statement material for the island and a simpler surface for countertops, like in this recent project in which two different quartz stones from Cambria on the island and counter are mixed. And don’t hesitate to contrast quartz against marble, granite or other stones.

    The key to mixing surfaces is to use tones that relate (by sticking to either cool or warm families) and also to use strong contrast so the mismatch is clearly intentional and beautiful. Pick a material with a grain or variation, and then use one of the grain tones for the solid surface. Here the dark zinc on the islands matches the grain tone of the polished Calacatta gold marble.

    These material combinations are often applied to white kitchens. The white keeps the mix from looking too wild, yet the contrast gives the minimalist palette extra life. Here we see a light Statuario marble island and darker Emperador marble counters.
    Continuing a material theme with other surfaces helps tie everything together, such as using a marble-topped dining table (like the classic Saarinen style seen here) to pick up on a marble counter and backsplash.
    You can also beautifully mix stone counters with butcher block. Take a cue from this room and use a demure, subtly patterned stone to avoid its fighting your wood grain.

    Upper and lower cabinets

    Another great way to mix in wood is to use a little on the lower cabinets (matching or lighter than the floor), and stick to the wall color on the uppers for a rich natural flair mixed with airiness. Dark gray or a punchy color also works well on lower cabinets (with light uppers) to keep the eye moving without the feeling being claustrophobic.


    For more drama, apply a dark color to the uppers instead, but stick to neutrals. A calm gray like below won’t crowd you in as much as a very saturated color — save that for a few small accents.

    You can also try breaking up dark cabinets with glass door fronts to reduce the dark surface area. On the other hand, darker cabinets also work well to frame the kitchen for a modern look, because they visually define where the kitchen starts and ends even if your floor plan is open.


    For a traditional look, try applying a dark finish to the island so it stands out from the main cabinets as its own furniture statement.

    Mixed metals magic

    In modern and traditional spaces, copper is one of the hottest finishes of the year; it works best in small doses, like on a few pendants or hanging pots.


    In general you shouldn’t be afraid to mix in a touch of a new, warm metal, like the brass pendants seen here, to add decadent contrast to stainless steel appliances or accents.

    Matte black gunmetal also works wonders as a stunning counterpoint to shiny stainless steel.


    Keep in mind, when mixing many materials and tones, it’s best to pick some themes to repeat to create a sense of harmony, such as using multiple shades of wood or sticking to only neutrals. When in doubt, wood, metal and glass make a classic trio.

    One last idea

    In this TIDG project, the same wallpaper used in the dining space was applied as a kitchen backsplash, layered under a glass panel. This unusual use of material connects the adjacent spaces and makes a unique statement that stands up to passing trends.

    As long as you combine materials you love in a way that feels right to you, you’ll achieve a look you’ll love beyond the passing of trends. So go ahead and mix with confidence!
    How are you mixing materials in your home? Share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram.
    This article first appeared on Houzz on September 17, 2014.


    Yanic Simard | Houzz contributor

    Principal designer at the award-winning Toronto Interior Design Group and it’s talented team of designers.

    7 fall color palettes to try on your front porch

    October 13, 2017 10:41 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, October 13, 2017

    7 fall color palettes to try on your front porch

    Fall is a time of transition that is marked by the changing colors in the leaves. One of the best ways to embrace this change is by updating some of the décor inside and outside your home.



    Fall is a time of transition that is marked by the changing colors in the leaves. One of the best ways to embrace this change is by updating some of the décor inside and outside your home.

    Taking the time to clean off your front porch and refreshing it with a few accents like a seasonal wreath, potted plant and a gourd or two, will help you get in the fall spirit. While traditional fall décor often times comes in hues of orange, there are an abundance of color palette options available today. These are some of our favorites.


    While the color purple easily finds its way into spring and summer blooms, it’s also a bold color that can be used to easily transition your front porch from summer to fall. It comes in a variety of shades and its cool and royal feel will leave your porch looking rustic and regal.


    Though sage is a subdued hue, when it’s used in fall décor it can act as a neutral backdrop or an accent pop of color. Incorporating sage into your fall décor will leave your porch light and bright, while still on key with the season.


    Brown may not be the first color you think of when you want to freshen up your front porch for fall. However, when used properly it can be both rustic and charming. Use dried corn stalks, wooden crates, brown leaf garland and wooden chalkboard signs to create a neutral monochromatic look that lets the brightly colored leaves pop.


    Welcome the fall season with a bright and cheery front porch by incorporating pops of yellow in your décor. From brightly colored mums and painted accents to the leaves falling from the trees in your yard, this golden hue is sure to warm up your porch as the temperatures cool down.


    Though Red is a shade found naturally throughout the fall season, it’s not necessarily a commonly used color in fall front porch décor as it typically takes a backseat to its sister shade of orange. Using apples, fabrics, florals and painted pumpkins, red can be the star of your fall front porch.

    Black and white

    Black and white are decorating classics. And with a season speckled in color, sometimes it’s the absence of color that makes a scene visually interesting. With white pumpkins, buffalo check rugs and iron accents, black and white can be a palette that works on any front porch.

    Indigo and orange

    Opposites attract. It’s a fact of life. Let your orange pumpkins and copper toned mums pop off a deeply indigo palette.

    Are you experimenting with a new color palette for your fall front porch décor this year? If so, what colors are you featuring? Share your pictures with us on Instagram by tagging us @schlagelocks.

    Ted talks Matte Black: “Style Sitdowns” with Schlage’s Style and Design Chief

    October 2, 2017 2:20 PM by Ted_Roberts

    Monday, October 2, 2017

    Ted talks Matte Black: “Style Sitdowns” with Schlage’s Style and Design Chief

    Matte Black is one of the most popular hardware finishes right now. It’s sleek, modern and can fit into almost any home. But how do you know if it’s right for you and your house?



    Matte Black - Bedroom - Hardware Finishes - Schlage

    Creating a beautiful home requires hundreds of decisions. Flooring, paint, furniture, décor, curtains, wall hangings, lighting – the list goes on and on. Door hardware is probably pretty low on your list of priorities. You might be burnt out from making all of the other décor decisions by the time you get to deciding between levers and knobs and trims and finishes. But door hardware is a finishing touch that is instrumental in tying a house together. Like flooring or trim, you want your door hardware to match throughout your house and fit well with your overall décor theme. So how do you know what will be right for your home?

    Matte Black is one of the most popular hardware finishes right now. It’s sleek, modern and can fit into almost any home. But how do you know if it’s right for you and your house? We talked to Ted Roberts, the Style and Design Chief at Allegion, Schlage’s parent company. Who better to talk to about what finish will fit into your home than the design leader in charge of keeping up with new trends and styles? Ted told us how Schlage gets inspiration for products, why Matte Black is so popular and how he would style with Matte Black.

    Ted Roberts - Style & Design Chief - Schlage

    Q&A with Ted Roberts

    What sets Schlage apart as a style leader?

    Walter Schlage’s first patent was in 1909, and he founded the company in 1920, so Schlage has more that 95 years of experience and has seen styles come and go first-hand. The industry is changing with the advent of new technologies and that brings new challenges when determining door hardware’s design and usability. Schlage has the background and experience to tackle these challenges that have never been addressed before.

    Where does Schlage get style inspiration?

    The industrial design team goes to stores, trade shows and furniture shows to see what is currently popular in the market and what is about to come to market. They also look into cultural trends. What’s happening in movies, TV shows, fashion and auto industries to see what styles are developing.

    Matte Black - Home Decor - Latitude lever - Schlage

    Matte Black

    Why do you think Matte Black is so popular right now?

    Matte Black is a highly versatile finish. There are a number of styles, both architectural and home décor, that it works well with. The finish also has a direct tie to technology, which is becoming more integrated with traditional products. For years, technology was black and furniture was not. Matte Black can help blend the two worlds.

    How should someone style around Matte Black hardware?

    Matte Black works with a variety of colors. If you are planning on using Matte Black hardware, keep in mind that if you have dark paint or furniture, a room can get very dark, very quickly, and you’ll find yourself living in a cave.


    But if that’s what you’re looking for. Go for it!

    Matte Black  - Technology - Schlage Sense with Century trim - Century Handleset

    What should you avoid with Matte Black?

    Avoid making a room too dark. Dark walls, floors, or cabinets paired with Matte Black can start to make things feel a little cramped.


    Bigger rooms and rooms with a lot of windows can sometimes get away with this.


    Also watch out when combining blacks. Sometimes black paints have tints or undertones that make it a little more red or blue. It is a very subtle difference that you might not normally notice, but if you put a Matte Black doorknob on a black door with red undertones, you will probably notice.

    Next time you are in the market for new door hardware, and don’t already have black doors or dark rooms, keep your eyes out for Matte Black. It will bring a sleek, modern look to your whole house. If you’re convinced you need Matte Black hardware or you want to learn more, check out all of your options.


    Looking for more style information and inspiration? Check out our Pinterest page!

    10 inviting front door displays for fall

    September 22, 2017 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Friday, September 22, 2017

    10 inviting front door displays for fall

    Celebrate fall with new front door décor that embraces the season’s most beautiful natural elements. Here are 10 fall-inspired ideas to get started.



    When it comes to sprucing up your entryway for the season, simple decorations can go a long way. Hang a brightly colored wreath of decorative berries, tuck in bronze-colored foliage to deepen containers, or stack a trio of pumpkins for a cheerful hit of color. Turn to the rich abundance of nature as your source of inspiration, and see just how effective a few well-chosen elements can be at creating a warm entryway.

    1. Go for bright hues

    Crisp white walls and a lemon-yellow door create a fresh entrance to a modern farmhouse-style home. Containers stay clean and green with feathery asparagus fern, chartreuse coral bells (Heuchera), and a mix of golden-yellow and dusty-blue ghost plants (Graptopetalum). Deepen the colors for fall by hanging a wreath rich in plum, bronze and gray-green.


    Here, burgundy Leucadendron foliage mixes with orange echeveria flowers and clusters of persimmons. At the base of the wreath, two gnarled ‘Buddha’s Hand’ citrons pick up the door’s yellow paint.

    2. Embrace natural country style

    For a house with wood siding, all that’s needed to create a festive fall display is a pair of jewel-toned wreaths, along with one perfect pumpkin. With such limited decoration on the home, one’s eye is drawn to the surrounding garden’s seasonal changes, including the fern fronds turning bronze at the base of the house, and the canopies of golden leaves beyond.

    3. Plant a vine for fall color

    If your entryway has an overhang, create a stunning entrance with a vine selected for its autumn leaf display. This rambling specimen of California wild grape (Vitis californica‘Roger’s Red’) planted over a doorway turns a brilliant shade of red by midautumn and provides decorative little clusters of grapes for wild birds. In summer, the leaves (still green) provide a natural shade canopy for the front door.


    Other vines with a dramatic fall display include black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata), Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) and American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens). Note: Be sure to look for true American bittersweet, rather than look-alike Oriental bittersweet (C. orbiculatus), which can be invasive. Both species are toxic.

    4. Transition summer containers

    There’s no need to completely rework your summer containers to give them fall flair. Replace tired-looking warm-season annuals with richly colored fall perennials, such as bronze- and golden-leaved coral bells (Heuchera), and rust-colored autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora).


    Even easier than planting: Simply add a pumpkin for an instant fall container update. ‘Fairytale’ pumpkins (Cucurbita moschata ‘Fairytale’) are particularly stunning with their unusual squat shapes and eye-catching striations.

    5. Keep it minimal

    A single pumpkin placed by the entryway to this Southwest-style home nods to the season while keeping the decor understated. To re-create this minimalistic style, choose a single element to represent autumn — perhaps a bronze jug filled with branches, a crookneck gourd or a bundle of dried wheat — and display it where it can be appreciated for its simplicity.

    6. Hang a wreath

    If you do nothing else this season, pick up a simple fall wreath and tie it on your front door with a decorative bow for a quick upgrade. Here, a ring of whimsical berries stands out against a charcoal door. Wreaths of artificial berries, preserved leaves or dried fall fruits can be used year after year for fall decor.


    If you’re feeling a bit more creative, make a wreath with elements foraged from the garden or purchased at your local floral shop.

    7. Set out potted flowers for instant color

    By late August, nurseries are stocked with containers brimming with fall-blooming perennials with flowers in gold, orange, red and deep purple. Chrysanthemums, perhaps the season’s most popular bloomer, keep pumping out flowers for months. To brighten your entryway, pick up potted bedding mums, then place the containers where they’ll receive at least a half-day of sun.


    Once blooms begin to fade, bedding mums can be planted in the garden for color year after year. ‘Fireworks’ wrinkleleaf goldenrod (Solidago rugosa‘Fireworks’) lines the driveway.

    8. Use dried foliage for lasting outdoor bouquets

    Flanking a grand entrance of a traditional home, urns brimming with dried foliage lend seasonal interest with minimal effort. If kept out of the elements, dried foliage, seedpods and grasses can be used again and again to create an autumn display. Choose ingredients for your dried bouquet that pick up the paint color of your door or walkway for an integrated look.


    To preserve your own garden’s foliage, clip stems of perennial seed heads and ornamental grasses, then hang them upside down to dry. Keep in mind that most untreated, naturally dried leaves and berries will lose their color.

    9. Celebrate the harvest

    For a rustic farm look, gather a bushel or two of dried cornstalks (available at garden and feed stores), tie them with thick ribbon or jute cord, then lean them by the front door. To really play up the farm feeling, add a pitchfork, wooden rake or other garden tools.

    10. Add baskets

    Don’t wait until Halloween night to set out baskets on the front porch. Throughout the fall, baskets can offer rich texture and act as vessels for displaying natural elements like pumpkins, squashes, Indian corn or colorful fall leaves found around the garden.


    On Oct. 31, use the ingredients you’ve collected to decorate your doorway, and fill the baskets with candy for eager trick-or-treaters.

    How are you decorating your front door's for fall? Share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram.
    This article first appeared on Houzz on September 5, 2017.


    Lauren Dunec | Houzz contributor

    Lauren Dunec Hoang | Houzz contributor

    Landscape designer, former garden editor for Sunset Magazine and in-house designer for Sunset's Editorial Test Garden. Her garden designs have been featured in the Sunset Western Garden Book of Landscaping, Sunset Western Garden Book of Easy-Care Plantings (cover), Inhabitat, and POPSUGAR.

    12 times a keyless electronic deadbolt looked fantastic on a front door

    August 4, 2017 1:50 PM by radhika.belkhede

    Friday, August 4, 2017

    12 times a keyless electronic deadbolt looked fantastic on a front door

    Let these beautiful front doors inspire you to add a little more tech to your home.



    When choosing and installing keyless locks, ditching the key doesn't mean ditching style, too. Our customers have some of the most beautiful homes so we gathered up real world photos on Instagram to help inspire your next makeover and give you the courage to add a little tech to your front door! Tell us: Which look is your favorite? Be sure to follow us on Instagram for plenty of inspiration!

    How to build a high tech smart home without sacrificing style

    July 27, 2017 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, July 27, 2017

    How to build a high tech smart home without sacrificing style

    Home assistants can make any house feel more like a smart home, but how do you choose the best fit for your home and personal style? To figure this out, you have to weigh the function and appearance of these high-tech devices.



    It’s likely you’ve used a virtual assistant at least once. Anytime you talked to Siri or said, “OK Google,” to search for information or automate a task on your smartphone, you used a virtual assistant. 

    You can take the virtual assistant a step further by adding one to your house. You may have seen these home assistants in TV ads or on a tech-savvy friend’s kitchen counter. The small speaker-like gadgets are wirelessly connected to a kind of smart online software. Some examples of this software are Alexa and Google Assistant, which you can verbally ask to perform tasks such as telling you what the weather is like, scheduling meetings or playing music. 

    These home assistants can make any house feel more like a smart home, but how do you choose the best fit for your home and personal style? To figure this out, you have to weigh the function and appearance of these high-tech devices. Let’s take a look at four home assistants that work well and look good doing it.

    1. Amazon Echo

    Cost: $179.99

    Smart Home - Stylish Tech - Amazon Alexa;
    The Amazon Echo is an internet-connected device that
    gives you access to Amazon’s virtual assistant, called Alexa. The Echo is capable of playing music and answering miscellaneous questions (“Alexa, what’s the weather like?”), and it can even place shopping orders on Amazon.

    Alexa was primarily designed to make life easier for its users, and users have seen that having the beginnings of a “smart home” isn’t as complicated as they originally thought. 

    Julia Fain of Huntersville, North Carolina, received an Amazon Echo as a Christmas gift from family and has found Alexa to be a convenient virtual helper.

    “We use ‘her’ a lot to play music: upbeat music in the morning before school and classical while our kids do homework,” Fain says. “It’s nice that we can easily say, ‘Alexa next,’ to skip songs, and, ‘Alexa, volume 3,’ to turn music down without touching it. We ask her frequently about the weather, news and what the date is [for writing down it on homework].”

    The Echo resembles a cylindrical speaker. It measures a little over 9 inches tall and about 3⅓ inches in diameter, and it comes in white or black. It’s somewhat more noticeable than the Echo Dot, which we’ll discuss next.


    Though it’s one of the taller home assistants out there, it isn’t overly imposing in any room, which was Amazon’s goal: to make the Echo an ambient gadget that doesn’t stick out in your home.


    “I don’t mind its appearance,” Fain says. “We have the Echo in our kitchen on the countertop. It’s small enough to move if we had a formal gathering in our home, but we are a pretty casual family.”

    Smart Home - Tech with Style - Amazon Echo

    2. Amazon Echo Dot

    Cost: $49.99

    Smart home - Stylish tech - Amazon Echo Dot;

    The Echo Dot is Amazon’s more compact version of the Echo. It still connects to Alexa and offers the same features, but the home assistant’s hardware is much smaller. A mere 1½ inches tall, it looks something like a small hockey puck. 

    The biggest difference between the Echo and the Echo Dot is the devices’ speakers. The taller Echo has room for a large speaker that wraps around the entire cylinder, providing better sound quality when playing music or replying to questions.

    Matthew Anderson of Lincoln, Nebraska, says he likes the versatility of his Echo Dot. “When I have guests over, I will use it to stream music, either from a specified artist’s ‘station’ or by connecting my phone to it,” Anderson says.

    Anderson also uses his Echo Dot to listen to podcasts and play Jeopardy, which is one of many “skills” you can teach Alexa. 

    “I use the timer-alarm function often when multitasking around the kitchen or tending to various tasks around my condo,” Anderson says. “Heck, I’ll often ask Alexa, ‘What time is it?’ if my hands are busy with kitchen stuff and I don’t want to touch my phone.”


    The Echo Dot’s speaker is much smaller and is located on top. While the sound quality is still good (full disclosure: I own one and have no complaints about the sound quality for basic, everyday use), it’s not quite as good as the original Echo’s. 

    To make up for this, the Echo Dot has an audio output jack, so you can attach an external speaker to improve the sound quality of your music. 

    The Echo Dot’s size means that it looks at home in nearly any setting, regardless of the decor. [Browse rustic coffee tables for your Echo Dot.] It is also available in white or black, and its low profile means that unless your guests hear it speak, they probably won’t even know it’s there.

    “I just learned there are fabric-faux wood cases for the Dot now, but the aesthetics aren’t worth [the money] to me,” Anderson says.

    3. Google home

    Cost: $129

    Smart home - Stylish tech - Google Home
    This voice assistant is Google’s first foray into the home assistant market. 

    Google Home
     responds to the same voice commands as your Android phone’s assistant (“OK Google”) and works with the Google infrastructure. 

    “I really like how receptive it is to my voice,” says Google Home owner Sammy Purcell of Mountain View, California, noting that the device is able to pick up her voice if she gives it a command from another room.

    Purcell uses her Google Home for many different tasks around the house, even letting it talk her husband through making French toast with step-by-step instructions.

    “But most often I use it to entertain and educate my 2-year-old son,” she says. “We use it for music a lot, and he’s obsessed with asking Google — or “Googoo,” as he calls it — to make a variety of noises. We started with animal sounds and [have since] evolved to different musical instruments and various vehicles like cars and trains. It makes my life easier because sometimes Mommy doesn’t know what sound a lemur makes, and my imitation of a train horn is not very accurate.”
    Smart home - Stylish tech - Home Assistant - Google Home
    Google Home recently gained the ability to detect different voices, so if you and your spouse each have events scheduled for the day, it will be able to remind each of you about your events by recognizing your voices. 

    Google Home has a single speaker (located around the bottom half of the product) and a customizable base, meaning you can make it match nearly any decor or color scheme you want. There are even third-party services that have started designing skins for the top portion of Google Home devices, so you can give the gadget a wooden, metal or leather look.

    The advanced customization options of Google Home’s aesthetics may make it more desirable than other home assistant products. 

    The device itself isn’t as tall as the Amazon Echo, coming in at about 5⅝ inches, but its base is slightly wider, making it more stable and less likely to fall over. The body of the Google Home is white by default, and the stock base is a slate gray. But you can easily remove the base, which is only attached with magnets, and replace it with whatever color best fits your home.

    Purcell says she really likes the way her Google Home looks. “We just own the standard gray-silver base model, but it looks really clean and sleek in our kitchen,” she says. “It’s pretty subtle and not garish or gaudy one bit, but stands out just enough that people will notice it and ask us about it.”

    4. Lenovo Smart Assistant

    Cost: $129.99

    Smart home - Tech with Style - Lenovo smart assistant

    At first glance, you might think that the Lenovo Smart Assistant is an Amazon Echo clone — its operating system is even powered by Alexa. But some might say it brings together the best of Echo and Home into one neat package. 

    The Lenovo Smart Assistant has been demonstrated at events around the country and is expected to be available in 2017.

    The biggest physical difference between the Lenovo device and other smart assistants is its speakers. According to industry experts, such as CNET, this home assistant has some of the best speakers in the market, making it a good choice for playing music anywhere in your home. 

    Being outfitted with Alexa, it also includes all the same voice command options that you can access with the Echo and Echo Dot. Lenovo Smart Assistant can pick up your voice from more than 16 feet away and cancel out background noise so you aren’t constantly shouting “Alexa!”

    Otherwise, Lenovo Smart Assistant is roughly the same size and shape as Amazon’s Echo. However, the device itself comes in four different colors, something Amazon doesn’t offer. You can get Lenovo Smart Assistant in green, orange, gray or black — making it easy to match to any home decor or color scheme. 

    These Home Assistants Are Just the Beginning

    With major tech companies vying for success in the home assistant market, it’s only a matter of time before we start to see some new options. Expect to see smaller startups popping up in this industry, likely bringing more trendy-looking smart home devices with them. 

    Tech companies have already figured out how to make virtual assistants more practical for everyday consumers. Next, they’ll refine the aesthetics of these gadgets to fit consumer design preferences too. 

    Your turn: Are you using one of these assistants or other “smart home” technologies? Please tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter.


    This article first appeared on Houzz on May 30, 2017.


    Kayla Matthews | Houzz Contributor

    Kayla Matthews | Houzz contributor

    App junkie and self-improvement enthusiast. I also write for Curbed, Inman, VentureBeat and VICE. You can read more posts from me on my blog,

    9 most popular home styles and door hardware to match

    July 25, 2017 10:23 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, July 25, 2017

    9 most popular home styles and door hardware to match

    Have you considered replacing the door hardware in your home, but were overwhelmed with options? We get it. Once you decide whether you want a knob or lever, you have to choose what style of trim you want and the finish.



    Have you considered replacing the door hardware in your home, but were overwhelmed with options? We get it. Once you decide whether you want a knob or lever, you have to choose what style of trim you want and the finish. But how do you know what to choose, or what will look best with the rest of your house?


    This guide goes over the 9 most popular home styles and the best door hardware for those styles, making your life a little easier.

    Popular home styles - Matching door hardware - Schlage

    1. Craftsman

    Craftsman homes are recognizable by their intricate woodwork or stonework, arched doorways and an emphasis on natural materials. They often have a wide front porch, big fireplaces and exposed beams.


    Suggested door hardware: Addison trim in Matte Black.

    2. Country/Farmhouse

    Country and Farmhouse styles of home are updates on the classic colonial. These homes have wide front porches, evenly spaced windows with shutters and wood accents and siding.


    Suggested door hardware: Camelot trim in Matte Black.

    3. Tudor

    Tudor homes can be recognized by their steep, multi-gabled rooflines. They have large chimneys, decorative entryways and exteriors often made of brick, stone or stucco.


    Suggested door hardware: Wakefield trim in Aged Bronze.

    4. Victorian

    Victorian style homes tend to be very narrow but tall, often three stories or more. With their towers and turrets, which lead to their asymmetrical design, and steep rooflines, they are very recognizable.


    Suggested door hardware: Brookshire trim in Antique Brass.

    5. Ranch

    Ranch homes are probably the most common home style. They are single floor homes, often in an L or U shape with an attached garage.


    Suggested door hardware: Greenwich trim in Satin Brass.

    6. Bauhaus/International/Modern

    These homes feature flat or low sloped roofs, geometric lines, large windows and a lot of steel and concrete. They are very sharp, sleek and minimalist.


    Suggested door hardware: Collins trim in Satin Nickel.

    7. Mid-Century Modern

    Mid-Century Modern homes are characterized by use of glass and open floor plans. They use a lot of flat lines throughout the architecture and emphasize nature through the placement of big, wide windows.


    Suggested door hardware: Century trim in Chrome or Polished Nickel.

    8. Contemporary

    Contemporary architecture puts a lot of focus on nature. Most of the building materials are natural/sustainable like bamboo flooring or granite counters. There is also a lot of natural light brought into the homes using plenty of windows.


    Suggested door hardware: Upland trim in Satin Nickel.

    9. Industrial Modern

    This style of home is named for the industrial style they model themselves after. They have exposed components that most homes hide, such as A/C ducts and indoor brick. They also feature big windows and high ceilings.


    Suggested door hardware: Greyson trim in Matte Black.

    Let us help you narrow down the perfect product combination even further. Try our Style Selector tool for help!

    8 bloggers share their best curb appeal tips

    July 20, 2017 1:44 PM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, July 20, 2017

    Curb appeal tips

    Curb appeal makeovers are easy when you focus on a few key details.



    It's no secret that we believe you can make a big impact to the curb appeal of your home by focusing on a few key details. But how do those details play out in real life? We've collected a few of our favorite bloggers and asked them to give their take on easy curb appeal updates. See all their before and afters and project tips for perfect curb appeal below!

    Designer Trapped

    What happens when you already have the perfect front door? Embrace its potential by covering up years of wear and tear with a fresh coat of paint. We love these tips for a dramatic front door update!

    Curb appeal - Front door update - Matte Black - Handleset - Schlage

    The design confidential

    Sometimes, adding your own personal touch can be difficult when you have to play within strict neighborhood and HOA rules. By putting together an organized plan, Rayan of the Design Confidential was able to give her curb appeal an update that reflected the interior of her home.

    Curb Appeal - Smart lock - Schlage Sense - Matte Black

    Brooklyn Limestone

    When budget is a limiting factor to your curb appeal makeover, you'll want to focus on getting the biggest bang for your buck. When you can't install new lighting or buy a new front door, a few tricks will still help you fall in love with your home's curb appeal. We love these three curb appeal ideas from Brooklyn Limestone!

    Curb Appeal - Matte Black Handleset - Modern Door Hardware - Schlage

    Our fifth house

    Even if you don't love the exterior color of your home, choosing the right paint color and hardware combo could make you fall in love after all! That's exactly what happened when Carmel of Our Fifth House decided to update her curb appeal in a day. We have to admit, this shade of pink is the perfect complement to the green of her home!

    Curb Appeal - Pink Front Door - Antique Brass Hardware

    Dream green DIY

    There's nothing wrong with making your curb appeal updates one step at a time. When Carrie of Dream Green DIY set out to up her curb appeal, she knew she'd be making a more permanent update later on. With a home as architecturally interesting as hers, it pays to really know what look you want. Get inspired by her mid-century curb appeal mood board and see which details are worth focusing on.

    Curb Appeal - Mid-Century - Modern - Mood Board

    Yellow brick home

    Sometimes the greatest curb appeal impact is left in black and white. When Kim and Scott of Yellow Brick Home decided to leave their garden apartment doors white, they created a crisp and clean look that offers the perfect reflection of the space beyond the doors. Get their tips for upgrading entry doors and hardware.

    Curb Appeal - Garden Apartment - Matte Black - Handleset

    Honeybear Lane

    Curb appeal isn't always about the style and design of your home. Sometimes a curb appeal upgrade is an added perk when greater convenience and security are the main goals. Get the details on this smart home curb appeal update and see why Heidi of Honeybear Lane can't live without her Schlage Connect!

    Curb Appeal - Smart Lock - Schlage Connect

    Making it in the mountains

    What if your front door is already perfect but you're craving a quick and easy update? Sometimes a few accessories can make all the difference in your curb appeal style. We love these 5 easy tips for getting a farmhouse front porch look this summer.

    Curb Appeal - Farmhouse front porch - Schlage Touch - Keyless lock

Stay up-to-date on the latest style and design tips, trends, DIY tutorials, product updates and smart home news.