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    Virtual home tours to help you escape.

    May 15, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, May 15, 2020

    Virtual tours of homes and Neuschwanstein Castle | Schlage

    Try these virtual tours, videos and webcams to see how the other half lives and enjoy a bit of an escape.



    If we’re going to shelter in place, living somewhere beautiful or exotic would be a stroke of fortune. Those of us who live in more ordinary surrounds, however, get to live vicariously through others. Try these virtual tours, videos and webcams to see how the other half lives and enjoy a bit of an escape.
    One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most well-known homes may be Fallingwater, but you can tour Taliesin, the beautiful house and grounds the architect designed in Wisconsin, online. Take in the 360-degree views and learn about the home and its history here. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is also doing virtual tours on social media every Thursday while their sites are closed during the pandemic.

    Mark Twain House Virtual Tour

    Mark Twain's Connecticut Home

    We went on many an adventure with Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer as children, so why not see where their creator lived. Explore Mark Twain’s Connecticut home in 3D or dollhouse mode and even use the measuring tool to, well, measure items found in the house.

    Monticello Virtual Tour

    Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello

    Thomas Jefferson’s house is a leading example of classical architecture. The Monticello website has a variety of ways to explore the home and grounds online, either with a 360-degree tour, a Google Street View tour or a virtual field trip for schools.

    Neuschwanstein Castle Panoramic Video

    Neuschwanstein Castle

    It’s hard to find a grander or more iconic house than this German castle. Disney even used it as its model for its logo. Take in breathtaking aerial views of Neuschwanstein here. Air Pano has a huge range of other panoramic videos from all over the world, from the Milky Way over the Sahara Desert to diving with manta rays and even soaring with dinosaurs over Angel Falls, if you’re looking for more escape.

    Royal British Homes Virtual Tours

    Buckingham Palace

    Feel like royalty with these short virtual tours of Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. No passport necessary to take in these majestic British homes.

    Georgia O’Keeffe Videos and Webcam

    O'Keeffe Home in New Mexico

    The late artist’s New Mexico home and studio can be explored from anywhere thanks to the videos created by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. There’s also a webcam of her Abiquiú Garden.
    Architectural Digest shares its collection of celebrity homes from all over the world, from Jason Statham’s Malibu digs to Lenny Kravitz’s Brazilian getaway. Even if you don’t have a movie star budget, you can still gather some inspiration and enjoy the views.

    Puppy Webcam

    Chocolate lab puppies playing with balls.

    If looking at other homes and locations ends up making you feel melancholy instead of refreshed, try a puppy cam instead. Because puppies make everything better.


    Looking for more ideas to keep you and the family busy? Schlage can help. Try one of our home improvement projects for kids, consider a quick renovation for relaxation using materials you probably already own or tackle some outdoor projects so you can enjoy the great outdoors right at home.


    8 resources to boost your home's resale value with curb appeal.

    May 7, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, May 7, 2020

    Curb appeal inspiration | Schlage

    Spring is the perfect time of year to give the front of your home a little care and attention. Here are a few of our favorite resources to help spark your next great idea and give your front entry a new life.



    According to the 2020 Cost vs. Value report from Hanley Wood, your home's curb appeal actually plays a major role in its resale value. Spring is the perfect time of year to give the front of your home a little care and attention. Below are a few of our favorite resources to help spark your next great idea and give your front entry a new life.
    8 curb appeal resources for inspiration.

    1. HGTV

    No matter what home project you may have on your mind, HGTV has a gallery to help you get started. Their front door inspiration gallery is full of ideas from paint colors and door hardware to welcome mats and planters. If you're not sure where to begin or which products you'd like best, this gallery is a great place to start.

    2. Houzz

    Whether you have a vision in mind or aren't sure where to begin, Houzz is a great resource for finding the right inspiration for your personal style. With its endless gallery of home decor photos and product recommendations, you're sure to find what you need. If after exploring you're still at a loss, visit the Stories & Advice section of Houzz and let its community of home owners and designers help you decide where to begin.

    3. has become an all-in-one resource for projects up any homeowner’s alley. Visit their Learning Center for buying and DIY guides, design inspiration and product spotlights. You’ll find everything you need to upgrade your curb appeal with entryway and outdoor living décor help.

    4. Lowe's

    Our friends at Lowe's regularly share useful tips and inspiration for home and garden. Find all the inspiration and tutorials you need to create a welcoming outdoor space, from planters and flower arrangements to tables and outdoor accessories on their DIY Projects and Ideas page.

    5. Terrain

    If you're looking to add a special touch to your curb appeal, Terrain is the perfect stop for unique planters and interesting arrangements. Find all the accessories you need to make a good first impression.

    6. The Home Depot

    With its large resource of how-to guides and tutorials, The Home Depot is the perfect resource for anything you need to know about your next outdoor project. Learn to make a unique address display or find out what you need to know before you purchase outdoor power equipment.

    7. Wayfair

    If you’re looking to stir the creative juices, Wayfair has a huge collection of sample rooms and outdoor spaces. They also show you exactly what you need to buy if you want to replicate that look. In addition to outdoor furniture and accessories, you can also search for ideas for the entire home by room, color, different styles like Boho Chic or even by celebrity.

    8. DIY Network

    DIY Network is one of our favorite go-to sites for when we want to get our hands a little dirty but aren’t quite sure how to pull off a project. One of the best parts is that they have step-by-step instructions for nearly any task from gardening to carpentry and stonework to upcycling crafts.


    What are your go-to resources for curb appeal advice and inspiration? Let us know on Twitter or spark more ideas at Pinterest.


    Top designers rooted in culture, committed to modern solutions.

    May 6, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, May 6, 2020

    Coconut tree on beach

    In recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Schlage is highlighting three designers, from the United States and abroad, who are taking the utilitarian and reinvigorating it with deeper meaning.



    Our homes say something about who we are. Or do they? We often design buildings for functional reasons – we need a house, a school, a hospital, an office park – rather than as symbols of our cultural identity. We produce as much and as quickly as we can, sometimes at the expense of meaningful beauty. In recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Schlage is highlighting three designers, from the United States and abroad, who are taking the utilitarian and reinvigorating it with deeper meaning.

    Syrette Lew – Furniture Designer

    Syrette Lew took an unconventional path to her current success. Born and raised in Hawaii, Lew earned her first degree in economics, then, looking to combine her creative streak with her analytical mind, earned a second degree in industrial design. The worlds of furniture design, as well as jewelry and bags, have not been the same since.


    Today, Lew is the founder and owner of Moving Mountains, a Brooklyn-based company that uses regional craftsman to create custom-made furniture. In 2014, she showed her first collection at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and came away with a pair of awards, including the “Metropolis Likes” honor for a set of nesting tables.


    With a focus on natural materials, Lew says the challenge is creating balanced pieces. “There’s a fine line between too much and too little and it’s hard to know what will withstand the test of time,” she told Design For Mankind. “It is one of design’s most difficult exercises – but if achieved, can be sublime.”


    Most often described as modern, even by the designer herself, Lew’s furniture is also sometimes called whimsical and “of-the-moment.” It comes from walking the line between too much and too little as well as balancing contemporary with history.


    “I do love fashion and the way it changes, but don't necessarily think furniture should follow that same pace,” she said in an interview with Refinery29. “You want your chair or sofa to last for years — not throw it away and get a new one next year."


    You won’t find Lew’s collections in stores as all her pieces are made-to-order. She’s also not concerned with cranking out new designs at rapid pace, preferring instead to create the best pieces instead of the most. It’s all part of her belief that we should invest in furniture and home décor that, although they may be more expensive, are made with quality and care.


    Lew was named one of Dwell’s Asian-Pacific American designers to follow on Instagram. You can follow her @mvngmtns.

    John Belford-Lelaulu – Social Designer

    There’s architecture and then there’s social design. It’s that second one – approaching social issues like poverty and inequality with systemic solutions such as improved housing – that drives John Belford-Lelaulu. The New Zealand-born Samoan went through his early architectural studies without finding anything that truly excited him. When he discovered that it was because the country’s typical architecture failed to represent his Samoan and Pasifika roots, he knew what he needed to do.


    As a Master’s student, he was a finalist for the Unitec Department of Architecture’s design award for “Le Malofie.” The building proposed for his project focused on incorporating the traditional Samoan tattoo into the architecture of the building itself rather than simply using Pacific arts as a visual design element or building façade.


    “My thesis was based around architecturalising the traditional Samoan tattoo,” he explained in Architecture Now. “I was really interested in values such as our responsibility to our family and our community and self-exploration, but mostly, this idea of service. In Samoan it’s tautua, and it is such a fundamental and intrinsic part of what it means to be Samoan.”


    After graduating, Belford-Lelaulu went in search of design opportunities with more meaning. First it was New York City. There he joined a non-profit organization to help develop community gardens that would improve the lives of the city’s homeless through training selling their products as a source of income.


    Later there was a trip to the Philippines, where he focused on developing cultural centers. He also worked with Habitat for Humanity and Bringing Our Children Home in Chile, where they built houses specially adapted for families with children with special needs. Through all these opportunities, Belford-Lelaulu began to develop a new perspective on architecture and its larger societal impact.


    “My ultimate goal is to open more career opportunities for young Pasifika people in humanitarian and social architecture,” Belford-Lelaulu said in another interview. “Creating responses to social inequality, inequity, injustices are inherent within our culture, especially diaspora and migrant Pasifika communities. But to express our culture in the way WE see it, is still young and unexplored territory within spatial industries.”


    To help reach that goal, Belford-Lelaulu created MAU Studio. Educational opportunities and experiences allow New Zealand’s youth to connect with their culture and engage with their community through meaningful architecture and institutions.


    Much of Belford-Lelaulu’s motivation comes from his own upbringing – he is one of 12 kids in a family that struggled with poverty – and culture. “There’s a (Samoan) proverb which is ‘O le ala i le pule o le tautua’, meaning, ‘The path to authority is through service,’” he told Architecture Now. “In order to do anything in Samoa, you need to be serving. You can’t just become an architect or a chief. You have to be helping different members of the community. For me, I ask myself how I can serve the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

    Kenzō Tange – Architect/Urban Planner

    Kenzō Tange was known throughout his native Japan and globally as a leading architect, teacher and urban planner. Most of his professional career followed World War II when he was chosen for one of his most meaningful projects – rebuilding Hiroshima. As part of his commission, he designed the Hiroshima Peace Center and Memorial Park, which today is credited with making the city “symbolic of the human longing for peace.”


    When he was selected for this reconstruction effort, Tange was still a few years away from earning his doctorate, but he was hardly unproven in the field. He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1938. A decade later, he began teaching at the same school and was named a professor emeritus in 1974. His teaching resume also included several American universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley and several Ivy League schools.


    As a practicing architect and urban planner, Tange designed the National Gymnasiums for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, cited by the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury as “among the most beautiful structures built in the twentieth century. In preparing a design, Tange arrives at shapes that lift our hearts because they seem to emerge from some ancient and dimly remembered past and yet are breathtakingly of today.”


    Tange won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1987, becoming the first Japanese architect to do so. When he received the French Architecture Academy’s gold medal almost 15 years earlier, he was the only person to also have earned gold medals from the Royal Institute of British Architects and American Institute of Architects.


    In addition to his work in Japan, Tange is credited with the expansion that almost doubled the size of the Minneapolis Art Museum as well as several commercial and educational buildings across Asia and the rest of the world. One of his last projects, some private apartments in Singapore, was completed in 2003, just two years before his death at the age of 91.


    There’s plenty more history to be found at Schlage. Check out our heritage blogs from Black History Month and Women’s History Month. And don’t forget to help us celebrate our anniversary.


    Schlage celebrates a century of moms around the world.

    May 1, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, May 1, 2020

    Mother and son | Schlage

    Get the important stuff taken care of – a card, the perfect gift, restaurant reservations – then brush up on your Mother’s Day facts and prepare to astound Mom over brunch.



    With all she does, every day should be Mother’s Day. (In case you’re panicking now, it’s May 10 this year.) Get the important stuff taken care of – a card, the perfect gift, restaurant reservations – then brush up on your Mother’s Day facts and prepare to astound Mom over brunch.
    Mother hugging son while holding bouquet of tulips.

    When did Mother’s Day start?

    Mothers have been around since the beginning of time, but it wasn’t until 1914 that Mother’s Day became an official U.S. holiday. We celebrated it in some fashion before then, and other countries got in on the action as well. We would recognize the early British version, Mothering Sunday, today. What essentially amounted to a family reunion, English children visited their mother and treated her to a day free of cooking and cleaning and full of love and a “mothering cake.”


    American matriarchs celebrated Mother’s Day in a totally different way, however. In the 19th century, it was intended to promote world peace. The initiative didn’t gain much momentum, unfortunately, and the focus eventually shifted to education. Then called Mothers’ Day Work Clubs, it was all about teaching proper hygiene and care for children during a time when infant mortality was as high as 30 percent in some regions.


    Mother’s Day as we Americans know it today was instituted in the early 20th century when Anna Jarvis, who is most frequently credited with … well, birthing … the holiday, encouraged families to buy flowers and sweets to honor their moms. Within a few years of achieving her goal – President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill declaring Mother’s Day a national holiday on May 9, 1914 – Jarvis became appalled by its over-commercialization. She changed her tune and tried to dissuade people from buying gifts, making the Mother’s Day of 100 years ago not so sweet for at least one woman.

    What do moms want for Mother’s Day?

    Originally, as today, flowers were the most commonly purchased gifts for the first Mother’s Day. Many of those flowers had symbolic meaning. At a time when recognizing Mom meant a trip to church, red carnations represented living mothers and white carnations were for those who had passed.


    Today, there’s the always-popular “gift” of giving Mom the day off. Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurants, according to the National Restaurant Association. Letting someone else do the cooking is a safe decision. The same survey found that the preferred gift for almost 50 percent of moms is a restaurant meal with family. Other front runners were flowers and household or home décor items.

    Who are the most famous mothers in history?

    The best mother, of course, is yours. Others have also made impressive contributions to their families and blazing trails in business, science and human rights.


    • A committed abolitionist and suffragist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a key player in securing women’s right to vote. Despite not being able to visit the polls herself, she became the first woman to run for Congress. Stanton’s youngest daughter upheld the family tradition, also joining the suffrage movement. Although her mother did not survive long enough to see women get the vote in 1920, her daughter did and continued lobbying for equal rights years later.

    • Born a slave in 1797, Sojourner Truth eventually earned her freedom and spent the rest of her life campaigning for equal rights for women and African Americans. In 1827, she successfully sued a white slaveowner after her five-year-old son was illegally sold into slavery, marking a rare instance in which a black woman succeeded in court against a white man.

    • Marie Curie is best known as the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, actually winning two for work in physics and chemistry. Less known, however, is that she was also the mother of two daughters, including Irene Joliot-Curie, who also won her own Nobel Prize in chemistry.

    • Many of us are more familiar with Candy Lightner’s organization than the woman herself. The founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Lightner rallied behind the tragic death of her daughter to form one of the largest activist organizations in the country, was named to a national commission on drunk driving by President Ronald Regan in 1984 and continues to work on social issues today.

    • At the time of her election, New Zealand’s Jacinda Arden was the youngest prime minister in the world at 38. Her international notoriety is partly a result of her stance on family. Even as the nation’s highest-ranking government official, she still took six weeks maternity leave after giving birth in office and later announced reforms that included an increase in paid parental leave.

    How do they celebrate Mother’s Day around the world?

    Mother’s Day in the United States is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Other countries around the world honor their moms at different times and in different ways, however.


    • England celebrates Mothering Sunday on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Like in the U.S., chocolate and flowers are popular gifts, although mothering cake – a light fruit cake with marzipan – was customary in earlier days.

    • Día de las Madres in Mexico is on the same day every year – May 10. Activities include a special church mass in Mom’s honor, often followed by a community breakfast.

    • Australia’s Mother’s Day is said to have originated in the early 20th century when a Mrs. Heyden gave gifts to mothers at the Home for Destitute Women and Children. Today, celebrations primarily mirror those of the United States with gifts and a “day off” for Mom.

    • Chinese Mother’s Day traditions vary regionally and generationally. While younger families often celebrate by gifting carnations or lilies, similar to Western culture, others use the day to honor the mother of Confucian philosopher Meng Zi, who is considered to be the ideal mom.

    All this history is fascinating, but it doesn’t really help if you don’t know what to get Mom, does it? We can help with that. Find ideas in our Gift Guides or on one of our luxury or smart lock gift lists at the Schlage blog.


    Digital help for your home décor: 9 apps for smart DIY.

    April 29, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, April 29, 2020

    Woman looking at home decor apps on smartphone | Schlage

    With these apps, you can plan your perfect room, connect with experts who can help or get some DIY tips and tools, all from the comfort of your own home.



    You’ve been staring at the same greige walls for a while now and you’re ready to shake things up. Or maybe you feel like your room is missing that something special. Start making a style change without leaving your couch and wasting money. With these apps, you can plan your perfect room, connect with experts who can help or get some DIY tips and tools, all from the comfort of your own home.
    Woman looking at smartphone next to home design plans.

    Floorplans and furniture layouts

    • MagicPlan
      Use your phone to scan a room and start building 2D and 3D models of your home. With augmented reality and their catalog of furniture and accessories, you can create different layout possibilities for your home. There’s also the option to measure spaces and estimate costs and materials for your remodel. Available for Android and iOS.

    • roOomy
      This interior design app lets you browse furniture and décor from retailers like Amazon, Houzz and West Elm. Then, when you’ve taken a picture of your room and added measurements, you can start seeing how those accessories look in your own space. You’ll get a 3D mockup and, if you like what you see, you can purchase those accessories on the spot. Available for iOS.

      It’s so frustrating when you see something stylish from your favorite Instagram celebrity or home design blogger but can’t find it in real life. If they’re part of the community, you can use the app to find out exactly what couch, table or even dress they showed in their post. And when you screenshot a social media picture with compatibility, it’ll add the details to your app account. Available for Android and iOS.

    Color selectors

    • Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio
      For some, choosing a paint color is a daunting task. What if you do an entire room in what you think is a gorgeous green, only to find out too late that it looks like baby food … or worse? With the Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio app, augmented reality lets you test colors on your room before you buy. Just as cool, there’s a color matching feature. If you see a color you love in real life, the app will search the Benjamin Moore portfolio for a match. Available for Android and iOS.

    DIY and home improvement

    • iHandy Carpenter
      This 5-in-1 digital tool lets you use your phone as a plumb bob, surface level, bubble level, ruler and protractor. You’d be hard-pressed to fit all of those in your pocket if it weren’t for the app. Available for iOS.

    • Hometalk
      Touting more than 140,000 DIY projects and tutorials, this app will keep your honey-do list fresh. You’ll see step-by-step instructions, videos and pictures as well as materials and their estimated costs, time commitment and skill level needed to complete a project. Browse or search DIYs for your home and garden, get party ideas or find crafts for the family. Available for Android and iOS.

    • Houzz
      Much like their website, the Houzz app gives you loads of inspiration for interior décor projects, DIY guides, remodeling tips and tricks, gardening advice and more. You can also shop products for the home, ask experts questions about your DIY projects and watch how-to videos. Available for Android and iOS.

    Find an expert

    • Havenly
      When you aren’t sure how to redecorate your house, get expert advice from Havenly interior designers. The app lets you work directly with a Havenly designer, get shopping lists created just for you and transform a room or your entire home, even when you’re low on inspiration. Available for iOS.

    • Handy
      When a task is too big or outside your skill level, or if you just don’t have the time, you can always call in the professionals. The Handy app can help you research quality contractors, plumbers, electricians, painters and more. Available for Android and iOS.

    Whether using an app on this list or one you find on your own, pay special attention to costs. Some apps are free to download and use, some require in-app purchases depending on how you use it and others require paid subscriptions. You’ll also want to make sure your device’s operating system and version are compatible with the app.


    Now that your mind is brimming with ideas for updating your home, try out some of the DIY tips on the Schlage blog. And if that still wasn’t enough, we have tons of inspiration for you on Pinterest.

    DIY home decor apps.


    Homes of the Century: 100 years of porches and outdoor living.

    April 24, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, April 24, 2020

    Century of front porches | Schlage

    In this installment of Homes of the Century, we take a look at the many ways porches have impacted our lives in the last 100 years.



    Schlage often talks about how to take advantage of your front porch for maximum curb appeal. Whether you’re trying to entice potential homebuyers or want to welcome guests with a cheery holiday wreath, porches can be things of beauty. It’s strange to think of them, then, as inventions of necessity. In this installment of Homes of the Century, we take a look at the many ways porches have impacted our lives in the last 100 years.
    Craftsman style front porch.

    From their earliest days, dating back to the post-Revolutionary War era, porches served a very clear function: They helped us to escape the heat. Air conditioning wasn’t common in homes until the 1970s, meaning that if you wanted to catch a cool breeze, artificial or otherwise, you needed to head outdoors.


    Then as the United States became more urban. The 1920 census showed that, for the first time in history, more than half the nation’s population lived in cities1, so houses were constructed closer together. More people living in closer proximity to each other turned the porch into a gathering place.


    “Sitting on the porch gave everyone a bird’s eye view of everything that went on around him or her,” North Carolinian, Glenn Chavis, wrote in the News & Record, recalling his childhood in the 1940s. Kids sat on the porch and listened to the adults talk, you learned the goings on of the neighborhood and you might even have done a bit of romancing. “Those of us older than 50,” said Chavis, “can remember courting on the front porch. … Remember stealing that kiss on the front porch and hoping the neighbors didn’t see you or the light wouldn’t come on?”

    From social porch to sleeping porch

    Popularity of front porches eventually began to decline as more cars took to the road in the 1920s and 30s. Suddenly, traffic made sitting on the stoop a dirtier, noisier endeavor. And as telephones became more common, we no longer relied on porch-to-porch communication. But that didn’t necessarily mean that people were abandoning outdoor living altogether.


    As we see in a Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog from 1921, homes often included a sleeping porch. These open-air porches still provided privacy, either because of their location on the second story or on the back of the house, as well as comfort. “In hot stuffy Summer nights it will be pleasant and healthful,” wrote the Sears catalog.

    Homeowners believed that the fresh air from sleeping outdoors not only kept you cooler, but also strengthened your immune system and aided those with tuberculosis and helped prevent the disease from spreading. Some sleeping porches even came with special closets for door-beds, cots attached to the door frame that could swing out when needed.


    Sleeping porches fell out of favor once we got electric fans and central air. As with many trends, however, they seem to be regaining popularity, with the addition of screens this time, in certain regions and for more than just catching a few ZZZs. We often see them in coastal and more rustic areas where we can be free of urban traffic and artificial light. Garden rooms are gaining traction nationwide as well, though. HGTV reports that garden room searches are up by more than 100 percent on Pinterest at the start of 2020.

    Outside-in living with the atrium

    Even after we were no longer driven to be outdoors by the heat, many of us tried to re-create the feeling of nature within the confines of our home. Houses with a courtyard, most often seen in Spanish- and Mediterranean-style houses, or an atrium have a lengthy history because of their style and ability to combine privacy with protection and cooler temperatures. Atria, in particular, were desirable mid-century, thanks to the popularity of the famous Eichler homes. The clean, straight lines and large windows of 1950s and 60s homes combined with the desire to connect the house to its surrounding environment. Many of these atria are not only made to feel like comfortable extensions of the house’s interior, but also include relaxing landscaping and water features.


    The atrium’s popularity held strong for some time. One 1987 blueprint from an Architectural Designs catalog shows an updated interpretation. Surrounded primarily by bedrooms and with access from the kitchen, it is described as part of a “charmingly unique contemporary-style home” that also drew on nature through a foyer fronted by a large glass wall and private patio off the master suite.2

    Eco-friendly sunrooms

    As we’ve seen, the outdoor living space solved the uncomfortable dilemma of how to stay cool when technology was non-existent. In more modern times, we’re still using these architectural features to naturally cool, and sometimes heat, our homes. Sunrooms and solariums were important rooms for early passive homes, as we see again in Architectural Designs. Its “Smaller Smarter Home With A Twist” is described below, highlighting not only the advantages of the sunroom, but also how its building materials make for an environmentally efficient home.

    “Dramatically angled to maximize the benefits of passive solar technology, this compact one-story home can be adapted to many sites and orientations. South-facing rooms, including sun room/den, absorb and store heat energy in thermal floors for night time radiation. Heavy insulation in exterior walls and ceilings, plus double glazing in windows, keep heat loss to a minimum. During the summer, heat is expelled through an operable celerestory (sic) window and through an automatic vent in the sun room.”3


    Passive homes are on the rise today with even greater technology as concern grows about human impact on the climate.

    Returning to our roots

    Despite the variety of outdoor living alternatives, the front porch isn’t completely obsolete. We’ve seen a resurgence of the front stoop, thanks again in part to necessity. If at one time we needed a place for the milkman’s morning delivery, we now need a drop-off point for our Amazon packages and meal deliveries.


    We’re even cycling back to porches being a place of social gathering. We might not be fanning ourselves and sipping iced tea like antebellum Southern belles, but homey porch swings, romantic twinkle lights and all-weather televisions are giving rise to a new era of outdoor living. Many communities now host Porchfest, music festivals from coast to coast that also encourage community.


    Just as we’ve relied on interior décor to make a personal statement of who we are, we now use these outdoor spaces to do the same. Holiday wreaths, monogramed door décor, even the color of your door and the door hardware you choose can tell people a little something about who lives there.


    Next time you have some free time, consider heading out to the front porch. Wave hello to some neighbors, spruce up your front door décor or simply relax and reflect on what outdoor living means to you. Find inspiration for your porch at the Schlage blog or catch up on more home history at

    100 years of porches.

    Kyvig, David E. Daily Life in the United States 1920-1940: How Americans lived through the 'Roaring Twenties' and the Great Depression. Ivan R. Dee, 2004.

    “Built Around An Atrium.” Architectural Designs, April 1987, p. 58.

    “Smaller Smarter Home With A Twist.” Architectural Designs, April 1987, p. 19.


    How to boost your mood with a style lift.

    April 9, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, April 9, 2020

    How to boost your mood with a style lift | Schlage

    As we spend more time at home, we may find ourselves looking around and imagining what our house could be. Here are four questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide how to redo a room.



    As we spend more time at home, we may find ourselves looking around and imagining what our house could be. Is cabin fever giving you the itch to redecorate? Are you just noticing some things that look “off”? Here are four questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide how to redo a room.

    1. How do you want to use the room?

    The purpose of most rooms is usually flexible. You might be using a space as a living room, but could it be a playroom or a dining room instead? What about the spare bedroom? If you rarely have guests, does it make more sense for your lifestyle to turn it into an office, meditation room or home gym? Figure out what you want and what works best for your family, then you can start working out the details to make it happen.

    If you can’t change the room’s function – bathrooms and kitchens are likely to remain what they are – then brainstorm ways you could make them work better for you. Is open countertop space more valuable to you than the collection of small appliances sitting there now? If so, what would it take to declutter? More cabinet space? A better pantry? A heavy-duty garbage bag?

    2. What feeling do you want your room to inspire?

    You can use your own personal style and the room’s purpose to guide you in setting a mood. Take that new meditation room you’re building in your mind, for example. You’ll want a space that inspires calm and relaxation. A new playroom for the kids might be more energetic and whimsical. What does “feeling at home” feel like to you?

    3. What colors will help you create that feeling?

    For a relaxing room – that meditation area or your bedroom, for instance – try blues and purples. Purple might not be the obvious first choice, but shades of lilac are thought to inspire peace. Similarly, brown promotes a sense of security and calm, perhaps because of its link to nature and the idea of being grounded.

    For something with a little more pizzazz, look to yellow to create feelings of happiness and optimism. Many baby nurseries are painted yellow, not just because it’s gender neutral, but also because it can boost creativity. Bright green, with its tie to nature, is all about energy and harmony.
    Don’t think that those colors have to go on the wall, either. You might incorporate your moody hues in the form of fabrics like curtains, rugs or bed comforters, furniture, lamps or other accessories.

    4. What items will help you create that feeling?

    Let psychology guide you here as well. Going back to that meditation room, candles with relaxing scents can help set the mood. So can photos of beaches or other nature scenes. If photos of your family make you feel at peace, surround yourself with those. Choose whatever plants and flowers, art or other tchotchkes that give you the vibe you want.


    Don’t forget about your other senses. Sight is the easy one, and those scented candles will help. Consider smart speakers to play your favorite music and textiles that will scintillate your sense of touch as well.


    If you need some inspiration for your renovation plan, try the Schlage blog. You’ll find tons of design resources and DIY tips to spark your imagination. We’re also on Pinterest.


    How to create a home office.

    March 25, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    Home office in closet | Schlage

    Here are a few ideas for where you can create a home office and the items you’ll need to stay productive while you work your way through coronavirus and social distancing.



    Are you excited when you get to work from home or worried about what it’s going to do to your productivity? Some of us see it as the perfect opportunity to wear sweat pants. All. Day. Long. Others not so much.


    Whichever camp you fall in, you might be wondering where you’re going to get your work done if you don’t have a dedicated office. Or, if you suddenly have the kids home for e-learning, you’re trying to figure out where to set up their new “classroom.” Below are a few ideas for where you can create a home office and the items you’ll need to stay productive while you work your way through coronavirus and social distancing.

    How to create a home office.

    Small spaces

    When you don’t have extra room to dedicate to a home office, you might need to get a bit creative. Look for small hideaways that will give you the work space and the privacy you need to stay on top of business.


    • Under the stairs: You never knew what to do with that awkward, empty space anyway. Now’s your chance to turn it into the nook of your dreams. If it feels claustrophobic to you, reserve that space for the kids’ homework zone.
    • Under a window: This is ideal if your window sill is at just the right height. Add a plank or something similar to give yourself a larger surface to work on. This setup also has the bonus of extra natural lighting.
    • In the kitchen: The 1990s loved these kitchen/office combos. Now might be a prime time to bring them back.
    • In the closet: We gave this tip for creating a family command center, but it’s equally effective in this situation. If you or your kiddos struggle with distractions, this might be a nice tucked-away option to help stay focused.
    • In a corner: Do you have a room with a random house plant jammed in the corner? Test it out as an office by adding a small table and chair. It’s not fancy and it might not be ideal for the long-term, but you never know until you try.

    Large spaces

    If you’re lucky enough to have more square footage, you have more flexibility. Try these ideas if you need to share workspace with a partner or the kids.


    Bedroom office with Schlage Custom door lever
    • Long wall: Line up a couple tables or pull out the buffet you only use for your Super Bowl party. A long and sleek desk can look chic and is ideal if there’s more than one of you trying to get work done at home.
    • Shed: Get out of the house without breaking quarantine by setting up a work station in the backyard. Maybe it’s a she-shed. Maybe it’s the garage. A little extra space and privacy might do everyone some good.

    Storage spaces

    Especially if your new desk doesn’t have drawers or you’re missing the filing cabinet you have in the office, you might need to find some alternative storage solutions. Repurposing items from other areas in the house is a handy option when you can’t get out to buy organizers.


    • Overhead shelving: Consider hanging floating shelves. If you’re looking for a bigger DIY project – off the clock, of course – hang crates or boxes for effective storage and some visual interest.
    • Bar cart: Instead of beverages, you’ll have someplace to set your office supplies and files without taking up valuable space on your work surface. This is ideal if your new desk is more on the petite side.

    • Supply caddy: Your home abounds with items you can upcycle to corral your pens, paperclips, earbuds and post-its. It can be as simple as a drinking glass or a bit more elaborate with a spice rack. We think you’ll be surprised how many things from the kitchen in particular will work in your new office.

    Kid spaces

    Do your kids struggle with staying on task? Are you trying to establish a new routine with them home from school? Try including some of these items in their “classroom” to keep it fun and functional.


    • Calendar: Help your kids stay on task with a DIY calendar. It could be sticky notes on a board, like HGTV shows us. Or you could turn a picture frame into a DIY dry-erase board. List their chores for the day or an hour-by-hour breakdown of what they should be working on.
    • Small desk: Their paperwork might be more about finger painting or practicing arithmetic, but they’ll need a worktop, too. If you want a pint-sized option just for them, you could try a wall-mounted desk. Place it in their bedroom and it could grow with them as a vanity or trophy shelf with time.
    • Display area: Just because their teacher isn’t there to admire their work doesn’t mean it has to go ignored. Devise a clip or hanger system or clear off some fridge space to show off their effort.
    • Organizers: Do they have work they need to turn in later? Keep track of their finished assignments with bins, file folders or any other number of hacks that will help corral their hard work and keep them from asking, “Mom, have you seen my …?!”

    Make space

    No matter what kind of space you have, consider these hacks for making it more comfortable and yourself more productive.


    • Lighting: You don’t need to illuminate your entire “office.” Task lighting will make it easier to complete whatever project you’re working on at the moment. If you have a window in your new office space, take advantage of the natural light to ease the strain on your eyes and your nerves.

    • Comfy chair: It doesn’t have to be a traditional desk chair. It could come from the dining room or be the stool from your vanity as long as it’s comfortable.

    • Binder clip cord organizer: Laptops, phones and lamps all need to be plugged in or charged at some point. Keep the cords under control with this hack from Wired.

    • Something pretty: If you’re stuck inside for extended periods of time, it’s nice to surround yourself with things that make you happy. Artwork, plants, family photos or vacation souvenirs can help lift your mood. Just don’t go overboard and make your space feel cluttered.

    • Privacy screen: If your new office doesn’t have a door but you still need some peace and quiet, use a screen or move a tall bookcase near your desk to create some separation between you and the rest of the house.

    Do you have tips for creating an at-home office or improving your productivity while working from home? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter. And if you’re looking for some project ideas to keep yourself or your kids busy, check out the Schlage blog.


    5 routines for a healthier home.

    March 23, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, March 23, 2020

    Mother and son washing hands | Schlage

    When life starts to feel out of control, getting yourself and your family on a routine can go a long way toward maintaining your sanity. Here are five habits to build for a healthier home.



    When life starts to feel out of control, getting yourself and your family on a routine can go a long way toward maintaining your sanity. Here are five habits to build for a healthier home.

    1. Wash your hands

    We all know we should wash up after using the bathroom, but it’s also good to build some sudsy time into other activities. As soon as you walk in the door – from work, the store, school, the gym, wherever – wash your hands. You never know what you touched. Pet your dog, wash your hands. Put the laundry in the washer, wash your hands. Prepping dinner, even if just for yourself, wash your hands.

    2. Wipe as you go

    Crumbs around the toaster, water droplet stains on the faucet handles, splatters on the counter. They’re annoying in the best of times, but when the need for sanitation is at a high, like when family members are sick, this is not the time to just leave it until later. Build the habit of wiping up as you go, possibly using antibacterial cleaners, to keep everyone healthy. Be sure to pay attention to which cleaners are intended for which surfaces, though, so you don’t accidentally damage finishes and other materials with harsh chemicals.

    Woman making bed with dog.

    3. Make your bed

    Trust us when we say that making your bed every morning can help make you healthier. It has a psychological effect that will keep you moving and feeling good. Admiral William H. McRaven wrote in his book Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life … and Maybe the World that making your bed gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment first thing in the morning and sets you up for the rest of the day. A neatly made bed can also improve your mood by making the rest of the room feel tidy and less cluttered. And when you stick with it, you’re setting the stage for building other healthy habits.

    4. Take time to recharge

    This is important for any time, but it might be downright necessary when your stress levels are already on high alert. Recharging can mean something different to everyone. If you’re surrounded by family while working from home all day, you might need to carve out some alone time by meditating, escaping through a novel, listening to music or exercising. If you’ve been isolated, reach out to a friend with a phone call or video chat. Stay connected.

    Dog sitting on couch in bathrobe.

    5. Create a smart Routine

    “Isn’t that what this entire thing is about?” you ask. When you create a Routine – capital R – with your favorite voice assistant, a simple, “Alexa, wind down” will trigger a series of events to help you reclaim some peace. Some of our favorite actions include playing your favorite music or a boring podcast designed to make you drowsy, changing the lighting in the evening to help you wind down and adjusting the temperature on your smart thermostat.


    Another option is to create a kid-friendly Routine. Many smart speakers will set a timer and alert you when it’s time for a certain activity. Parents might especially love this. Let Alexa or Google Assistant tell your kids when it’s time for breakfast, homework, play time and more.

    Do you have tips for keeping your home and family healthy? Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.


    5 healthy home routines.


    Creating a calm home during stressful times.

    March 19, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, March 19, 2020

    Creating a calm home | Schlage

    If you’re struggling to navigate the changes in your day-to-day life because of coronavirus, anxiety or isolation, we want to help.



    We’re in uncharted territory with almost everyone hunkering down, social distancing and homeschooling their kids with e-learning right now. If you’re struggling to navigate the changes in your day-to-day life because of coronavirus, anxiety or isolation, we want to help. We’ve come up with a short list of things you can do – or not do – that will hopefully bring you some peace and calm while you spend extra time at home.
    Woman sitting in chair next to dog.

    To do …

    • One surefire way to increase anxiety at home is by living amongst the clutter. Use your extra time indoors to remove items you no longer need or want. Recruit your kids to do the same with their toys and clothes. And while you’re at it, remove digital distractions from certain rooms, particularly the bedroom. That will help improve the calm where you need it most. If you’re someone who can’t take their eyes off all the news updates and social media right now, this may be especially helpful.

    • Accessorize with beautiful things that make you happy. It’s hard to be in a bad or anxious mood when you’re surrounded by beauty. It could be artwork – rearrange your favorites from around the house for a fresh perspective or commission your kids to produce something totally originally – flowers or tchotchkes with personal significance. We especially like the idea of vacation photos or souvenirs that trigger happy memories.

    • The right lighting can also go a long way toward lifting your mood and helping you get better sleep, something that’s especially important when we’re stressed out. Blue light exposure in the evening from computer and phone screens can keep us awake when it’s time to sleep, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. On the other hand, warm lighting is ideal for later in the day and can help bring relaxation and calm when you need it. Companies such as Brilli offer “Wind Down” and “Charge Up” lighting options, as well as devices that will do both automatically throughout the day. If you don’t already have a device that controls lighting, check online. Many retailers are still taking orders through their websites and even offering free or reduced shipping. If improving your mood is simply a matter of brightening a room, try borrowing lamps from somewhere else in the house for an extra boost.

    • Get outside and garden. With spring right around the corner, you might be able to get a jumpstart on your outdoor planting. It’ll help with your cabin fever and give a healthy, outdoors activity you can do with your family. No social distancing required. Nature offers loads of psychological benefits, and right now is no exception.

    … or to not do.

    • In normal times, we often don’t allow ourselves time to indulge. Now’s your chance. Apartment Therapy says to go ahead and burn those candles (bonus points for lavender or other calming scents) or snuggle under your favorite blankets with your dog (pups and kitties can’t transmit coronavirus, by the way). Create your own spa day at home with a bubble bath and relaxing music. Or do nothing. The Dutch call it niksen.

    • Sit and observe your home. You might do this from somewhere you never sit to get a fresh perspective, like on the floor in the corner or in front of the television looking out toward the rest of the room. What feeling or vibe does the room give? Is that the kind of vibe you want? How do you and your family use the room? Are there items that you see every day so that you’ve stopped consciously seeing them now? Do those items still serve a purpose? Try not to pass judgement on your home. Just sit back and take it all in.

    • Express gratitude for your home. It can be easy to only ever see the leaky faucet or the wall that just isn’t your favorite paint color anymore. Try to find some positives, then give thanks for the large windows with a view of your garden, a play space for your kids or the mere fact that you have a roof over your head.

    If are you are looking for more active projects to keep busy at home, try the Schlage blog’s DIY Tips section. You’ll find plenty of ideas for inside and out, often using items you might already have.



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