The Nuts and Bolts: Trends for a Smarter Home

The nuts and bolts.

Digital and wireless appliances, locks, home security systems, and thermostats have made it easy to control them from anywhere. These enhancements are what make a smart home. Here's what's trending.

Trends for Today's "Smarter" Home

Sunrun, a leading home solar company in the U.S., today announced a partnership with home design expert Genevieve Gorder, and real estate experts Drew and Jonathan Scott, to show homeowners how connected technology is increasingly influencing trends in home design, energy consumption and ultimately, property value. The home design TV stars will spend the summer illustrating how consumers can leverage the latest connected technologies to maximize the aesthetic and financial value of their homes.

"Today, we find ourselves making dinner from a recipe on our tablets and measuring our heart rate and footsteps with a bracelet," said Genevieve Gorder. "Cultural and societal shifts have shaped style trends for decades, and this is no exception. We will see connected technology continue to play a significant role in how we style and design the spaces around us. I'm so excited to be joining Sunrun to inspire everyone to make simple changes to create a sleeker, 'smarter' home."

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Homejoy Shares Some Quick Clean Up Tips

You may not have time to fully clean your home but you likely have a few minutes to do some quick organization to both maintain your space and help you relax in your home. Use these tips from Homejoy to tidy up your place when you are short on time and want to make your home look fresh!

With 5 Minutes:

  • Grab a basket and pick up items lying around the house, on the floors, and countertops. Clear counters and floors do wonders for the psyche and creates the appearance of an organized home.

With 15 Minutes:

  • Follow five Minute Steps.
  • Fluff all throw pillows and fold all blankets in common rooms where guests might spend time.
  • Sweep only high-traffic areas (entrances, living rooms, etc.).

With 30 Minutes:

  • Follow 15 Minute Steps.
  • Make your bed and put away clothes laying around your room, your entire bedroom will look clean with these little tricks.
  • Wipe down your bathrooms with a microfiber cloth and a little bit of water or multi-purpose cleaner. Start with the mirror, then the counter and sink.
  • Choose a few more rooms to sweep or vacuum depending on what rooms are most important to you.

For more tips and tricks to keep your home happy, check out the Homejoy Blog.

Minwax® Announces Do Good With Wood™ Award Winners; Submissions for Next Year's Program Now Being Accepted

The Minwax® Do Good With Wood™ Award is a national program that awards financial grants and products to encourage community service through working with wood. For example, the 2013 Do Good With Wood™ Award First Prize winners, the Western New York Woodturners, received a $5,000 cash grant, a supply of Minwax® products, and a private wood finishing workshop with renowned do-it-yourself expert and author Bruce Johnson.

Each year, more than 90 volunteers come together, some building and staining and others manning the booth at the 12-day fair, to make this effort a success. Since 2006, The Western New York Woodturners have coordinated this local group of wood turners who joined forces to build all of the items for sale. Last summer, the group raised more than $20,000 to fulfill two wishes for sick children from their area. Since coming together, they have raised more than $115,000.

Learn more at

These trends for smart homes are sure to make your life a breeze. Gone are the days of worry about whether or not you adjusted the thermostat.