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    Gloomy garden? Try our budget-friendly landscaping tips.

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

    Friday, May 29, 2020

    Sustainable rain barrel | Schlage

    When you’re looking for a dose of curb appeal without spending a lot of money, try these budget garden ideas.

     

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    The most beautiful things in life, and in your home, don’t have to break the bank. When you’re looking for a dose of curb appeal without spending a lot of money, try these budget garden ideas and landscaping tips.
    Budget-friendly landscaping tips.

    Maintain what you already have

    The most cost-effective landscaping updates are just cleaning up what you already have. You probably won’t have to spend a dime to trim and prune your existing plants. Pull weeds and rake up any debris that may have collected in recent months. The National Association of Landscape Professionals also suggests grass cycling, which is just leaving your clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil, to help keep your lawn healthy.

    Take advantage of containers

    Whether you have a large yard, which can get expensive to fully landscape, or a smaller garden, potted plants can be a budget-friendly curb appeal solution. Perhaps the most important thing is to plan ahead and select your plants wisely. Choosing the most colorful flowers is always tempting, but don’t ignore the sun conditions and amount of space they need to thrive. Use your imagination, too. Non-flowering plants like coleus or even small trees like a southern magnolia or olive tree are beautiful alternatives to flowers. We also love colorful vegetables and herbs.

     

    The containers themselves can also be highly decorative, adding visual appeal. For more savings, choose a plain pot or upcycle one you already have and paint it yourself to give it a unique, updated look.

    Remember your mailbox

    If you have a street-side mailbox, give some love to the area around the base. Beautiful flowers are always popular, but tall ornamental grass or vining plants are also good options, especially if you want to hide an unsightly post.

    Lay some multi-purpose mulch

    There aren’t many landscaping elements that are more multi-purpose than mulch, and when it comes to saving money, anything that pulls double duty will save you extra money. Mulch not only gives your yard that finished look and adds color, but it can also make irrigation more efficient, control soil temperature and slow weeds.

    Wagon with mulch.

    Put a border on your garden

    If you like a more refined look to your garden, consider adding a border or retaining ledge. Depending on the material you choose, this can quickly get out of the budget range. However, it’s one project you won’t have to redo every year, so a bit of an investment up front might be worth it. If the price is just too steep for your wallet, take the free route and edge your garden. A sharp line between the grass and the flowerbed will help keep your yard from looking sloppy.

    Water correctly

    You don’t want to waste money on all those beautiful plants only to have them wilt during the first dry spell. This might be a prime opportunity to invest in smart irrigation. It can be as high-tech as the B-hyve with real-time weather monitoring and WiFi control, or as simple as a timer for your sprinklers. Options can get a bit pricey, but consider the long-term payoff when you waste less water.

    Light your landscaping

    Once you’ve put all the hard work into your new garden, you might add a bit of nighttime curb appeal. Placed strategically, upward-facing lighting can add some drama. Something more subtle might add that magical feel that helps you relax on the porch in the evenings. As a bonus, remember that some landscape lighting can add an element of safety, either by deterring intruders or illuminating a pathway so you don’t stumble in the dark.

    Curb appeal can be so much more than just the flowers and greenery you find in your yard. For more budget-friendly tips to spruce up your front porch décor, check out the Schlage blog or find us on Pinterest.

     

    How to paint a door for a simple style refresh.

    May 27, 2020 12:00 PM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, May 27, 2020

    Painted front doors | Schlage

    Here's everything you need to know before you start that next door painting project.

     

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    How to paint a door shouldn’t be a mystery. It’s one of the quickest and simplest ways to refresh a room with your personal style. Between our budget-friendly ideas that add a creative touch to any home and the must-know door painting tips below, Schlage has you covered.

     

    Photo of front door painted 9 different ways.

    What tools do I need to paint a door?

    When it comes to achieving a professional look, we recommend using a 4-inch foam roller brush for consistent coverage, an angled sash brush for hard-to-reach places and small touchups, and painter’s tape or some other protective material for door hardware. Especially if you plan to leave the door up while you paint, you’ll want a drop cloth or newspapers to protect the floor.

    Can I paint my door without removing it?

    The easiest way to paint your doors is to leave them on the hinges. This will save you time if you plan to paint both sides and prevents the hassle of re-installing. If you remove the door first, you’ll have to wait for one side to dry completely before flipping it over and painting the other.

    How do you prep a door for painting?

    Give your doors a thorough cleaning before you start. A dusty door not only leaves tiny clumps of dirt imbedded under the paint, but it can keep the paint from adhering correctly in the first place, resulting in chipping later. Use a heavy-duty household cleaner and let the door dry completely before filling holes, priming or painting anything.

    Do I have to sand the door before painting?

    A best practice is to always sand your door lightly and coat it with a good primer. This will help the new paint adhere to the door rather than the previous layer of paint. The last thing you'll want is for your beautiful paint job to chip away with everyday use. If you sand, be sure to clean the door thoroughly again to remove new dust and debris before painting.

    How do I protect the hinges and hardware when I paint a door?

    If you're painting around existing hardware, you’ll want to cover the hinges, knobs and levers. Cleaning paint drips from your hardware is not only difficult, but it can damage some finishes. There’s always painter’s tape, but Real Simple suggests covering knobs and levers with aluminum foil instead. This will allow you to fully protect awkwardly shaped trims.

     

    Another hack for painting around door hardware comes from Glidden. Apply two coats of rubber cement to your hardware before painting. It will peel off easily – paint drips and all – when you’re finished.

     

    What’s the best way to paint a door with panels?

    If you have doors with multiple panels, start with the interior angles at the top of the door. Work your way down, painting the edges with the angled brush. From there you can move on to the dividing panels, starting with the most center, working outwards. Paint the bottom of the door last.

    How to paint a paneled door.

    Painting a single-panel door is pretty straight forward. Just be sure not to leave any roller marks behind by smoothing over the whole door with another roller.

     

    Once you’ve painted your door, you might want to put the finishing touch on your new look. Make Schlage door hardware the pièce de résistance that sets it apart. Our Style Selector Tool can help you find the perfect knob or lever for your beautiful door.

     

    10 essentials for the perfect mudroom.

    May 26, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    Mudroom essentials | Schlage

    How you use your mudroom can influence what you include in the space. Here are our suggestions for 10 mudroom essentials, no matter how you use that space.

     

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    Mudrooms are more diverse than you might think. Do they include laundry and a utility sink? Is it off the garage, the side of the house or more centrally located like near the kitchen? Is it a main entrance for guests or designated for kids and pets? How you use your mudroom can influence what you include in the space. Here are our suggestions for 10 mudroom essentials, no matter how you use that space.

    1. Bench or storage ottoman

    This is a prime opportunity for multi-purpose furniture. A bench gives everyone a place to sit while they remove their shoes and a surface to set your bags down while you take off your coat. You can also incorporate it into a hall tree with hooks and other storage. This adds convenience, organization and a refined look as if the furniture pieces were made just for that space. Get a DIY hall tree tutorial from Handmade Haven.

    2. Hooks

    You have coats, bags and keys. Keep them off the floor and easy to find with a variety of hooks. Take it a step further and use some to hang small bins for mail, the kids’ supplies and other get-out-the-door-quick items.

    3. Storage

    Like it or not, the mudroom can become the home’s dumping ground for odds and ends. If you can’t avoid it, embrace it. Make sure you have shelving, lockers or cubbies to contain the clutter. Built-in organization and storage win every time.

    4. Small baskets

    When you hit the door, you want somewhere to leave keys, mail and other small items where you’ll be able to find them again later. Keep then contained with a tabletop or hanging basket that’s easily accessed as you come and go.

    5. Boot tray

    Whether it’s for boots, sandals or football cleats, you’ll want something to contain the dirt and puddles your family tracks in the house. As utilitarian as boot trays are, there is a wide range of styles to choose from to match your taste. Wooden slats, stone-inspired or simple plastic all keep it clean and classy.

    6. Easy-to-clean surfaces

    Even if you have a doormat or durable indoor/outdoor rug, easy-to clean flooring will add a layer of convenience you’ll never regret. Something with no grout lines where grime can get caught is a bonus. Also consider low-maintenance wall materials like semigloss paint, which is easy to wipe down, or wainscoting. Pet owners who have been splattered by a shaking wet dog know what we’re talking about.

    7. Lighting

    Because mudrooms tend to be small, extra lighting can make the space feel larger and more open. From a security perspective, a well-lit room can also add peace of mind when you’re walking into an empty home at night.

    8. Laundry hamper

    Whether you have your washer and dryer in your mudroom or not, you’ll appreciate a laundry basket in this space. Rain-soaked socks, mud-splattered jerseys and sandy beach towels can go straight in the hamper without introducing the mess to the rest of the house.

    9. First aid kit

    This is about easy access to emergency supplies, especially if your mudroom opens out onto the garage or yard where accidents are prone to happen.

    10. Door lock

    One thing nearly any mudroom will have is a door. What kind depends on where in your home that mudroom is situated. If you’ve been lucky enough to be able to convert a closet or awkward nook into your mudroom, a pocket door might be an ideal solution for hiding anything unsightly without obstructing a hallway. But if you have an exterior access point for your mudroom, you’ll want something that offers greater security. A traditional deadbolt from Schlage features premium metal construction and is made with durability in mind.

    Don’t discount a smart lock, either. Not just for front doors, Schlage smart locks offer keyless convenience and peace of mind no matter where they are. Lock and unlock from anywhere and skip the keys completely for secure yet simple access when coming home with your hands full.

     

    Explore Schlage’s range of deadbolts – mechanical and electronic – and check out our Get Help Deciding Tool to find out which smart lock is right for you. And if you have more questions, reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook.

     

    Easy and affordable DIY tips for staging your home to sell

    May 22, 2020 8:22 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, May 22, 2020

    DIY Tips - Home Staging - Schlage

    Adding even a few smart home products is the single easiest way to boost your home’s value. Here's what you need to know before you buy or sell a home with smart home tech.

     

    READ MORE

    Home Staging ROI - Schlage

    Every dollar you invest in properly preparing and staging your home for sale adds about $2 to the selling price on average. There are a few simple and affordable DIY projects you can do to add even more value, giving you a better chance to get your asking price – or more. The best part? Most of these will cost you little more than some spare time.

     

    With some prior planning and a little DIY know-how and ingenuity, your home sale can be a pleasant and rewarding experience.

    Five steps to selling for more

    Here are five simple rules when staging your home to sell. Other handy links throughout, like this one to Realtor Mag, will take you to even more in-depth explorations.

    1. Depersonalize:

    Potential buyers want to see themselves in your home. Removing photographs and other personal items that reflect specifically on you, your family and your interests allow for buyers to fill in the blanks with imaginings from their own lives. Removing such items, packing them up and investing in a small self-storage unit will pay huge dividends for a relatively small investment.

     

    At the same time, set the dining room table as if you were expecting friends over for dinner, set up your front porch for entertaining and clean off the back patio or deck and stage it for a barbeque or garden party. You want your guests to see themselves living there. And loving it.

    DIY Tips - Home Staging - Schlage

    2. Maximize:

    You’ll want to make your home feel as expansive and livable as possible. Start by decluttering – a self-storage unit can help with this, too. From cleaning out closets, cabinets and drawers (buyers will snoop), to removing throw rugs from your bathroom, living room and kitchen, there are lots of little things you can do to make your space seem larger than life.

     

    Open up the curtains and let the sun shine in. Replace old, worn window treatments with inexpensive yet stylish new shades, curtains or shutters. Get things up and off the floor and out to storage. Remove excess furniture. Add mirrors for style and openness. Make every room big, bright, open and inviting.

    3. Sanitize:

    Your home can’t be clean enough. A spotlessly clean home tells a bigger story about just how much you cared for and maintained your home. Perception is reality. Scour the bathrooms and the kitchen, using water and bleach to remove mold and mildew. Really work to clean every nook and cranny. Scrub and polish floors, vacuum and shampoo carpets and any rugs you decide to leave about. Wash your windows. Clean and polish appliances (inside and out). Dust and wax furniture and bookcases. We’re talking a deep clean here.

     

    You might consider a bonded and insured professional cleaning service that is experienced in cleaning for home sellers. This is where your realtor can come in, so don’t hesitate to use him or her as a resource for finding anything you might need. Here are some additional suggestions from Angie’s list.

    4. Neutralize:

    In the continuing effort to let the buyer envision themselves living in your home, think neutral when styling and staging. Repaint key rooms in neutral colors. Decorate with monochromatic hues (for instance, using fresh, white towels in the bathroom instead of bright colors and replacing window treatments with clean, white curtains and shades). Declutter bookcases and replace half of your books with strategically placed pieces of art, vases or other simple, unobtrusive touches. These all serve to invite potential buyers to imagine your home as theirs.

     

    Keeping things simple and clean – and reducing clutter – are among the easiest and least expensive ways to prepare your home for sale.

    Home Staging - Smart locks - Schlage

    5. Modernize:

    Projects you invest in to modernize your home will more than pay for themselves when you sell it. Don’t be afraid to replace old kitchen appliances. Re-paint or stain old kitchen cabinets. Replace outdated cabinet hardware and plumbing fixtures. Replace that old vanity in the bathroom with a new pedestal sink. These kinds of simple upgrades – many of them weekend DIY projects or a short jaunt to Lowe’s away – will work wonders.

     

    Another simple update that pays big dividends is replacing your old front door lock with a keyless electronic lock. Instead of having a realtor’s lockbox or spare housekeys floating around out there, you can program up to 30 individual security codes depending up on the lock type you select. Codes can be activated, de-activated and replaced as often as you see fit. And with some of today’s locks, you can program them from anywhere, using your smartphone.

     

    A new lock with a stylish new handleset is the perfect finishing touch to that front-porch refurbishing project. It adds curb appeal, convenience and next-level security – and affordably. It also makes a great first impression when prospective buyers come calling.

    Schlage electronic locks

    Schlage offers a wide selection of keyless options from which to choose. The Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt, Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt and Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt allow easier home access using your smartphone all while improving security. These are all reflective of a heritage of innovation and style that dates back to our company’s founding when Walter Schlage first patented a door lock that also turned on a home’s lights.

     

    Schlage electronic locks are the ideal DIY project. They are easy to install, requiring only a screwdriver and a little free time. They’re available in a wide selection of styles and finishes. And they add peace of mind that’s very welcome among the stresses and anxiety that come with selling a home and planning a move.

     

    Is your home ready to sell? Think depersonalize, maximize, sanitize, neutralize and modernize and you’ll be well on your way.

    DIY tips for staging your home to sell.

     

    Easy and affordable DIY tips for staging your home to sell

    May 22, 2020 8:22 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, May 22, 2020

    DIY Tips - Home Staging - Schlage

    Adding even a few smart home products is the single easiest way to boost your home’s value. Here's what you need to know before you buy or sell a home with smart home tech.

     

    READ MORE

    Home Staging ROI - Schlage

    Every dollar you invest in properly preparing and staging your home for sale adds about $2 to the selling price on average. There are a few simple and affordable DIY projects you can do to add even more value, giving you a better chance to get your asking price – or more. The best part? Most of these will cost you little more than some spare time.

     

    With some prior planning and a little DIY know-how and ingenuity, your home sale can be a pleasant and rewarding experience.

    Five steps to selling for more

    Here are five simple rules when staging your home to sell. Other handy links throughout, like this one to Realtor Mag, will take you to even more in-depth explorations.

    1. Depersonalize:

    Potential buyers want to see themselves in your home. Removing photographs and other personal items that reflect specifically on you, your family and your interests allow for buyers to fill in the blanks with imaginings from their own lives. Removing such items, packing them up and investing in a small self-storage unit will pay huge dividends for a relatively small investment.

     

    At the same time, set the dining room table as if you were expecting friends over for dinner, set up your front porch for entertaining and clean off the back patio or deck and stage it for a barbeque or garden party. You want your guests to see themselves living there. And loving it.

    DIY Tips - Home Staging - Schlage

    2. Maximize:

    You’ll want to make your home feel as expansive and livable as possible. Start by decluttering – a self-storage unit can help with this, too. From cleaning out closets, cabinets and drawers (buyers will snoop), to removing throw rugs from your bathroom, living room and kitchen, there are lots of little things you can do to make your space seem larger than life.

     

    Open up the curtains and let the sun shine in. Replace old, worn window treatments with inexpensive yet stylish new shades, curtains or shutters. Get things up and off the floor and out to storage. Remove excess furniture. Add mirrors for style and openness. Make every room big, bright, open and inviting.

    3. Sanitize:

    Your home can’t be clean enough. A spotlessly clean home tells a bigger story about just how much you cared for and maintained your home. Perception is reality. Scour the bathrooms and the kitchen, using water and bleach to remove mold and mildew. Really work to clean every nook and cranny. Scrub and polish floors, vacuum and shampoo carpets and any rugs you decide to leave about. Wash your windows. Clean and polish appliances (inside and out). Dust and wax furniture and bookcases. We’re talking a deep clean here.

     

    You might consider a bonded and insured professional cleaning service that is experienced in cleaning for home sellers. This is where your realtor can come in, so don’t hesitate to use him or her as a resource for finding anything you might need. Here are some additional suggestions from Angie’s list.

    4. Neutralize:

    In the continuing effort to let the buyer envision themselves living in your home, think neutral when styling and staging. Repaint key rooms in neutral colors. Decorate with monochromatic hues (for instance, using fresh, white towels in the bathroom instead of bright colors and replacing window treatments with clean, white curtains and shades). Declutter bookcases and replace half of your books with strategically placed pieces of art, vases or other simple, unobtrusive touches. These all serve to invite potential buyers to imagine your home as theirs.

     

    Keeping things simple and clean – and reducing clutter – are among the easiest and least expensive ways to prepare your home for sale.

    Home Staging - Smart locks - Schlage

    5. Modernize:

    Projects you invest in to modernize your home will more than pay for themselves when you sell it. Don’t be afraid to replace old kitchen appliances. Re-paint or stain old kitchen cabinets. Replace outdated cabinet hardware and plumbing fixtures. Replace that old vanity in the bathroom with a new pedestal sink. These kinds of simple upgrades – many of them weekend DIY projects or a short jaunt to Lowe’s away – will work wonders.

     

    Another simple update that pays big dividends is replacing your old front door lock with a keyless electronic lock. Instead of having a realtor’s lockbox or spare housekeys floating around out there, you can program up to 30 individual security codes depending up on the lock type you select. Codes can be activated, de-activated and replaced as often as you see fit. And with some of today’s locks, you can program them from anywhere, using your smartphone.

     

    A new lock with a stylish new handleset is the perfect finishing touch to that front-porch refurbishing project. It adds curb appeal, convenience and next-level security – and affordably. It also makes a great first impression when prospective buyers come calling.

    Schlage electronic locks

    Schlage offers a wide selection of keyless options from which to choose. The Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt, Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt and Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt allow easier home access using your smartphone all while improving security. These are all reflective of a heritage of innovation and style that dates back to our company’s founding when Walter Schlage first patented a door lock that also turned on a home’s lights.

     

    Schlage electronic locks are the ideal DIY project. They are easy to install, requiring only a screwdriver and a little free time. They’re available in a wide selection of styles and finishes. And they add peace of mind that’s very welcome among the stresses and anxiety that come with selling a home and planning a move.

     

    Is your home ready to sell? Think depersonalize, maximize, sanitize, neutralize and modernize and you’ll be well on your way.

    DIY tips for staging your home to sell.

     

    Leave the spare and other tips for a smoother move.

    May 21, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, May 21, 2020

    Moving boxes | Schlage

    Make moving easier by taking care of some of these often-forgotten tasks before you box everything up.

     

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    You have a lot on your plate when moving with, well, the actual moving of stuff. Make it easier by taking care of some of these often-forgotten tasks before you box everything up.
    Moving tips.

    Return

    Don’t move what isn’t yours, especially if you could be fined for it. It’s time to give back.

     

    • Library books

    • Items borrowed from friends and family

    • Your kids’ borrowed school supplies like textbooks or science equipment

    • Items that would bring more joy to others if gifted than if you kept them for yourself

    Retrieve

    Avoid getting to your new home and asking, perhaps months down the road, “Whatever happened to …?”

     

    • Items left at the cleaners, tailors or shoe-repair shops

    • Spare keys you may have handed out to friends and family, or buried in the yard

    • Hidden valuables, either in your home or a safe deposit box

    • Items left in a locker at your gym or yoga studio

    • Items in a storage unit

    Organize

    In addition to a folder with all your moving documents – agreements with the movers, receipts, the inventory of your belongings – collect these important records. Then keep them with you rather than put them on the truck.

     

    • Health, dental and vision records

    • Prescriptions

    • Vet records and pet medications (Get more tips for moving with pets.)

    • School records

    • Financial and legal records

    • Birth certificates and passports

    Leave

    Some things are more valuable to the new homeowners than you. Be kind.

     

    Complete

    We don’t know anyone who has forgotten to hire the truck, but these jobs aren’t so obvious … until it’s too late.

     

    • Have your car serviced, especially if you’re moving long distances

    • Take photos of electronics to reference when reconnecting everything in the new home

    • Update your address with Amazon and any monthly subscription services

    • Cancel or transfer your gym membership or club fees

    • Create a Pinterest board with ideas to help you get excited about the new place, especially if you’re feeling bittersweet about leaving a home with sentimental value

    Discover

    You might not need all of these right away, but it’s good to think about them before it becomes an emergency.

     

    • A new doctor, dentist and optometrist

    • A new allergist or other specialist

    • A new hairstylist

    • Snow removal service

    • Landscaper

    • Plumber, electrician and pest control professional

    Need more tips to help you during your move? Try Schlage’s checklist for before, during and after the big transition. Share your own tips with us on Facebook and Twitter.

     

    Leave germs at the curb: Entryway ideas for a healthy home.

    May 19, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, May 19, 2020

    Healthy entryway ideas | Schlage

    Architects, designers and other experts have been predicting an increased appreciation for entryways in post-COVID housing. Here are 8 ideas for a healthier home.

     

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    When you spend a lot of time at home, you quickly learn what features of your house work for your lifestyle … and which ones don’t. Is your open-plan kitchen perfect for simultaneous meal-prep and e-learning with your kids? Do you wish you’d opted for the oversized tub so you could luxuriate in your own at-home spa? For some of us, our homes and lifestyles will never be the same after quarantine.

     

    Architects, designers and other experts have been predicting an increased appreciation for entryways in post-COVID housing. Mudrooms and foyers will be expected to pull extra duty. It won’t just be about looking nice and keeping us organized. Our entryways should also reduce the spread of infection. Here are 8 ideas for a healthier home.

    Clean entryway with coat rack and shoe storage.

    Rethink your point of entry

    Where does your family usually enter the house? Does this make sense? Many people begun to change their habits and enter through a side or back door that’s closer to a sink. When the need to wash your hands often, especially when you’ve been outside, an alternate entrance with convenient access to a sink is a good way to keep from introducing dirt, germs and more to the home and your family in the first place. This could be an entry by your kitchen, a powder room or a garage or laundry room with a utility sink.

    Close the floorplan

    Open floorplans can be ideal for entertaining. But as people began working from home and were surrounded by their partners and kids, some began to crave privacy that just couldn’t be found. When family members became sick, having doors to close off areas of the house for quarantining became a necessity. Use this concept for your entryway as well. If you can close off your mudroom where you track in all kinds of dirt and microbes, you can help control its spread.

    Create a shoe zone

    Some germs, including coronavirus, can live on certain surfaces for several days. That includes clothing. Apartment Therapy suggests creating a “shoe quarantine” area to keep from tracking germs into the rest of the house. If you can leave them outside on a porch or isolated in a mudroom, that’s probably best. A coat closet, boot tray just inside your entryway or even a designated square marked off with painter’s tape are solid alternatives, too.

    Choose touchless technology

    When trying to slow the spread of contagions, the fewer things you have to touch, the better. The first thing most of us reach for when we come home in the evenings is a light switch. Consider connecting voice control technology like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to your lights instead. For a solution that’s a bit more sophisticated than a single “Turn on the lights” command, try “Alexa, I’m home” to trigger a Routine that illuminates your entry, lets you know if you have any messages and, if you have multiple Echo speakers, announces to your family that you’ve returned, without you having to touch a thing.

    Get smart about your locks

    A smart lock also fits in the touchless category. Don’t dig around in your bag for keys – when was the last time you disinfected those, by the way – or fumble around at the door trying to limit how many things you touch. Use the Schlage Home app to lock or unlock your Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt and Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt without touching the lock.

     

    And although we hate to even think about it, in the event that someone in your home does get sick, you can give a unique access code to trusted individuals. There’s no exchanging keys or having to answer the door in person for a caretaker to drop off groceries or check on you.

    Opt for easy-to-clean surfaces

    If you have the opportunity for a bigger remodel, include easy-to-clean surfaces in your new entryway. This isn’t a new idea. Victorian bathrooms of the 1800s featured heavy curtains and ornate woodwork, which eventually phased out because they were so difficult to sanitize, according to NPR’s Short Wave. In its place, we saw white tiled bathrooms. The materials were easy to clean and the color made people actually feel cleaner. Not everything needs to be sterile and wipeable – you still want your home to be comfortable – but choose your materials wisely.

    Reduce clutter

    No matter what kind of surfaces you have, they won’t be easy to clean if they’re covered in clutter. Streamline your entryway with just the essentials to make disinfecting quick and simple.

    Make cleaning convenient

    You might like to have cleaning supplies close at hand when you get home. Consider a basket or cute caddy stocked with disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and anything else you might need the minute you walk in the door.

    When it comes time to clean your door hardware, make sure you take the right steps to keep it looking and working great. Get more tips for coping with COVID-19 or find inspiration for entryway décor at Schlage.com/blog.

    Healthy entryway ideas

     

    How to DIY your way to sustainable curb appeal.

    May 12, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, May 12, 2020

    Sustainable rain barrel | Schlage

    With the growing interest in finding sustainable living alternatives, Schlage offers you five environmentally friendly tips to make this year’s garden your greenest and most gorgeous yet.

     

    READ MORE

    Everyone wants a green lawn. But what if you could make your yard really and truly “green”? With the growing interest in finding sustainable living alternatives, Schlage offers you five environmentally friendly tips to make this year’s garden your greenest and most gorgeous yet.
    DIY sustainable curb appeal ideas.

    Go native

    When you’re planning your garden this spring, include plants found naturally in your area. Why is it so important to plant native species in your yard? Native plants typically require less fertilizer, pesticides and water as they’re adapted to thrive in your environment. They also help reduce soil erosion and flooding. In addition to looking lovely, native plants provide plenty of food, seeds and shelter for pollinators, insects, birds and other local wildlife.

     

    Find inspiration for your DIY and upcycled planters on our blog, nine budget-friendly spring porch décor ideas.

    “Bee” friendly

    When bees are in danger, it puts our whole ecosystem at risk. We need these pollinators to keep plant populations, especially food crops, varied and strong. You can make your garden bee-friendly in a number of ways beyond simply planting flowering vegetables and fruits, which are especially attractive to our little honey producers. It turns out that bees can get dehydrated, so place small dishes of water around your garden or add stones to a bird bath for them to land on while they sip. Go the extra step with a DIY bee house with this step-by-step guide from Dukes & Duchesses. Happy bees lead to happy gardens.

    Chase the rain

    An excellent way of reducing your environmental footprint is by using less water, and being smart about water conservation in the garden can make a monumental difference. Those native plant species we talked about often require less irrigation. Even so, our gardens might need a bit of extra help. That’s where you can use a rain barrel to collect rain runoff for future use. DIY options can be as simple as a plastic garbage can, but that won’t do much for your spring curb appeal. For a rain barrel that actually contributes to your outdoor décor, try HGTV’s tutorial for a rain barrel that uses wood slats.

    Let it soak in

    When we cover the ground in concrete, we limit the amount of water that can reach the soil. We also redirect the natural flow of water, possibly leading to erosion. Spread gravel, smaller stones or decomposed granite between garden pavers to limit damage from rain runoff. If it makes sense for your home, you might choose these materials for your driveway as well. Learn how to install a beautiful stone path from HGTV.

    Break it down

    Whether you use it for yard waste or kitchen scraps, a home compost bin has many benefits. But compost for curb appeal? With time, you’ll get a natural fertilizer and mulch that make for healthy plants and a vibrant garden. Compost bins also attract local wildlife –earthworms, frogs, lizards – that add to your garden ecosystem. Plus, just think of all the waste that won’t go in the landfill.

     

    Like rain barrels, there’s a wide range of options for DIY compost bins. You can call that 32-gallon trash can into service again use these instructions for a wooden compost bin that looks more sophisticated.

    You don’t have to design a passive house or convert your car to run on cooking grease to positively impact the environment. Any small step, like upcycling old door locks or reducing food waste with better storage, helps. Follow us on Pinterest for more green DIY ideas.

     

    Safety first: Essential gear for your next DIY project.

    May 11, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, May 11, 2020

    Safety gear | Schlage

    Be able to strike while motivation is high by keeping this safety gear at the ready so you can tackle your DIY projects without delay and still keep all your fingers.

     

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    You see it on Pinterest and want to dive right in. You collect the materials, make sure you have the right tools and you’re ready to start cutting/painting/gluing/sanding/sawing. But do you have the right safety equipment? Be able to strike while motivation is high by keeping this safety gear at the ready so you can tackle your DIY projects without delay and still keep all your fingers.
    Safety gear.

    1. Safety glasses

    Eyes are fragile, so protect them from flying debris, dust and splashing liquids. Saw Dust Girl suggests getting a neck strap for convenience and investing in goggles that won’t fog, perfect for working on any sweaty project. You might also like safety glasses with LED lights in the frames.

    2. Ear protection

    Ear muffs are a power tool’s best friend. If you’re going to be working with loud machinery for any length of time, your ears will thank you. Ear muffs or plugs will work just fine.

    3. Gloves

    Hand protection is no joke, and with all the different tools you’re likely to use, it’s important to have the right gear. Cloth and leather gloves are good options for reducing injuries from splinters, nails and sharp equipment. Rubber or latex are good for handling stain, paint and other liquids. Also consider anti-vibration gloves if you plan on using power tools frequently.

    4. Leather thumb and finger guards

    For those times you don’t need whole-hand protection, thumb and finger guards are ideal for carving projects. It seems minor until you nick yourself during what seems like a small job.

    5. Push sticks and blocks

    If you’re doing any woodworking or breaking out the power saw, invest in some push sticks or a block that can feed your materials into the blade while keeping your fingers out of harm’s way.

    6. Mask and respirator

    Protect your lungs when doing anything with drywall or sanding. Masks are also advisable when painting, especially if you choose paints with stronger fumes or if you’re doing a ceiling.

    7. Work boots

    Never DIY in flip-flops. The last thing you want is to drop something on your toes or puncture your foot on an errant nail, so get some good footwear.

    8. Protective clothing

    Whether you’re working with carving equipment, caustic materials that may splatter or flammable liquids, invest in clothing that can protect your body head to toe. Face masks, leather aprons and flame-retardant fabrics are a good start.

    9. Knee pads

    This is a must if you’re replacing flooring. Your joints will thank you. But you might also appreciate it for smaller jobs like painting a series of cabinet doors or gardening projects where you might end up kneeling.

    10. Hard hat

    If you’re tackling a larger project or one that takes place overhead – a kitchen gut job or replacing a chandelier – protect your noggin.

    11. Back support

    Lift with your legs, and even then, wear some kind of back support when lifting or transporting heavy items.

    12. Safe disposal containers

    Protect curious kids and pets, and do your part for the environment, by knowing how to properly dispose of toxic chemicals, paints, aerosol cans and other items that can’t simply go in the trash. Then get the right equipment to seal it up safely.

    13. First aid kit

    Accidents happen, and when they do, you should be prepared. Bandages, antiseptic and gloves are among the supplies you should have on hand until you can seek more extensive medical attention, if necessary. Find a complete list of first aid supplies at RedCross.org.

    14. Fire extinguisher

    You might be working with electrical equipment, power tools or flammable materials. Have a fire extinguisher on hand and check it regularly to make sure it is in good working condition. The garage is a prime location for an extinguisher whether or not that’s where you tackle your DIY projects.

    15. Flashlight

    Good lighting makes any job easier, but if you’re going to be in a tight crawl space, a proper flashlight can help you spot protruding nails or cut risks before they happen.

    16. Ladder

    Instead of tip-toeing and losing your balance, get a ladder. Then learn how to use it. Set it on stable ground, recruit a spotter to help hold it steady and only use it for its intended purpose.

    17. Sunscreen

    Outdoor projects tend to take place in warmer months and when it’s not going to rain on your new paint job. Protect your skin if you’re going to be outside for an extended time.

    18. Hair ties

    This is where hair improvement meets home improvement. Tie back hair to keep it out of your face so you can see what you’re doing and keep strands from getting caught in equipment.

    19. Phone number for the pros

    We can’t all be experts at everything and it’s good to know your limitations. Recognize when it’s time to call an electrician, plumber or other professional to handle something that’s dangerously outside your skillset.

    20. Situational awareness

    Sometimes the best safety tip has nothing to do with your gear. Be aware of what’s happening around you, including kids and pets playing nearby, standing water that might conduct electricity and power cords so you don’t inadvertently cut through them.

     

    Now that you’re properly outfitted for any home improvement project, get inspired to tackle your next DIY effort. Explore ideas from Schlage on Pinterest and Instagram.

     

    Stimulate the senses with these sensory garden tips for kids.

    May 8, 2020 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, May 8, 2020

    Sensory garden ideas | Schlage

    When you plant a sensory garden, you can ignite the imagination, give family a healthy dose of outdoor time and possibly turn kids into lifelong plant lovers.

     

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    The perfect garden can do much more than simply enhance your curb appeal. It can do more, even, than just helping the environment. When you plant a sensory garden, you can ignite the imagination, give family a healthy dose of outdoor time and possibly turn kids into lifelong plant lovers. Try these tips to create your own sensory garden.
    Sensory garden written on chalkboard next to garden.

    What is a sensory garden?

    Sensory gardens combine a variety of plants, materials and features that stimulate all five senses. By considering textures, sounds and taste in addition to the more obvious sight and smell, you create a space that allows visitors, from children to seniors, to experience the outdoors in new and healthy ways.

    Little boy watering flowers.

    What are the benefits of a sensory garden?

    • Children are often exposed to experiences and stimulations they won’t find anywhere else, which can boost brain development, cognition and curiosity.

    • Spending time outdoors has been shown to improve mood, confidence and physical health.

    • Working in a garden or simply interacting with different plants can help develop kids’ motor skills.

    • Studies have shown that sensory gardens can help with emotional regulation, which may be particularly beneficial to children with autism and attention-deficit disorders.

    • Non-verbal children can learn cooperation and may improve non-verbal communication skills by working in sensory gardens.

    How do I make a sensory garden?

    Like we said, a sensory garden relies on elements that fire up the eyes, nose, hands, ears and taste buds. There’s such a wide range of plants that can achieve this, so don’t be afraid to get creative. Just be sure to choose plant species that are native to and thrive in your area.

    Sight

    Mother and child planting flowers

     

    Perhaps the easiest sense to stimulate in your sensory garden, sight calls for brightly colored. While flowers are the obvious choice, you’ll also find plenty of vibrancy and even some unexpected colors in fruits and vegetables.

     

    Our picks: Bright red roses and golden daisies are a good start. Also consider something like campanula or pansies, which often have multiple colors on a single bloom. KidsGardening.org has a nice list of annuals and perennials to make your garden a sight worth seeing.

    Smell

    Little girl smelling flowers.

     

    Again, flowers are your obvious choice to get the nose working overtime. Herbs, lavender and fruit trees when they’re in bloom can be super fragrant as well.

     

    Our picks: Thyme, lemon balm and rosemary are some of our favorite fragrant herbs. For flowers with scents as beautiful as they look, we’re partial to honeysuckle, lilac and chocolate flower, which is a type of daisy that, of course, smells like chocolate.

    Texture often gets overlooked in a garden, so now is your chance to experiment. Soft and wooly, prickly or spikey, wrinkly, tough and fibrous, leathery, smooth … plants cover it all. Just make sure they won’t cause injury. There are other ways to add texture as well. Consider a water feature, stones and pathways made of different materials as well.

     

    Our picks: Lamb’s ear is a classic choice for a soft plant, and it’s hard not to love the equally pettable artemisia. Ornamental grasses often have a spikey feel without pricking fingers. Lavender, while not typically that interesting texturally, releases its best scent when rubbed between your fingertips.

    Sound

    Bird feeder in garden.

     

    Sound might be a tougher sense to capture in a garden, but it’s 100% possible with some creativity. Dried bean pods and leaves shake and rustle. Beyond plants, a water feature offers calming sounds, wind chimes are always musical and a bird feeder will attract your favorite birds and (love them or not) chittering squirrels.

     

    Our picks: False indigo seed pods rattle when you shake them. Bamboo, if your region can support it, is a nice choice as stalks click against each other. Consider other plants that make a soft, relaxing sound in the breeze like wheat and tall grasses. To attract songbirds, try putting out their favorite foods: sunflower seeds, suet and mealworms.

    Taste

    Little girl eating tomatoes in garden.

     

    Fruits, vegetables and herbs all have a place in your sensory garden. The great thing about planting for taste is that you get delicious food that is also healthy for the family. If you have picky eaters, a pizza garden might tempt their taste buds.

     

    Our picks: Tomatoes as well as bell and hot peppers are good options to start from plants thrive in pots or the ground. If you want to start your tasty garden from seed, you could try beans, squash or kale.

    Once you have your sensory garden started, you’ll be ready for all kinds of DIY garden projects to do with your kids. Schlage also has tips your kids and backyard critters will love.

     

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