Choosing an advanced Thermostat for house

Carlton Bale has an fascinating blog publish on his investigations into selecting an advanced Thermostat for his home. Well worth a checked out of you are thinking about automating your heating/ventilation system.

“Let’s deal with it, the thermostat that is installed by default in most dwellings is quite basic. If you have a digital screen that’s the “upgraded” version; as well as all it does is replicate the performance of the old rudimentary mercury switch / rotary knob designs. An advanced thermostat with arranging features can save rather a bit on your energy bill, however can likewise be an fascinating device to occupy your time. since my energy business is offering a rebate for anyone who upgrades to a arranging thermostat, I decided to pull the trigger.

The RCS X10 was my preliminary very first choice, however after preliminary research, I discovered that it has no arranging feature! Sure, you can raise as well as lower the temperature from an X10 remote device, however it doesn’t have any type of built-in automatic scheduling. I you are one of those people with advanced house automation system, you can utilize that to automate the thermostat settings. For me, this is a challenging as well as potentially troublesome combination.

I’d rather have the thermostat itself taking care of all of the scheduling, not a computer or outside controller. I believe the Proliphix is a much much better choice as well as it can likewise be managed over the network (many house automation controllers are capable.) I’m happy I didn’t purchase the very first thermostat I found.”

Read the full article Here

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A vibrant DOOR & much more nursery ART

At two weeks from my due date we’re inspecting off a few much more lingering nursery updates, like painting the wardrobe door a bright pleased color, organizing the clutter within…

… making/hanging some much more art, as well as altering our minds in the curtain arena (you understand we like a great final-hour switcheroo).

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The eco-friendly wardrobe door was heavily influenced by Clara, who kept stating “my infant will like a colored door like mine however not pink” – as well as because a strong eco-friendly door was originally in our plan back in January (which we discussed to Clara, thus her obsession) we chose to stop hemming as well as hawing as well as just opt for it.

After hanging our apple-green curtains as well as adding a kelly eco-friendly sheet to the altering table, we concerned a bright door between them would be as well much. however the realization that we already had some breezy Ikea curtains from our last home implied we had nothing to lose by tossing those as much as see exactly how they looked (they utilized to hang on the deck sliders, however came down when we got french doors).

Although I couldn’t recoup the time I spent making the vibrant curtains, they were under $10 a pop, so it seemed silly to stay married to them at the cost of losing something else we had all looked ahead to in the room. as well as I pulled off the faux-changing-pad-cover (just a material remnant I tossed on to photo what a eco-friendly cover may look like) when we chose a bright wardrobe door was as well difficult to resist.

We still believe the curtains requirement something (I want to line them in blackout fabric, as well as perhaps trim them on all sides with black or brown ribbon – perhaps green? Not sure) however we’re getting better I think. as well as of program we still requirement to get a genuine altering pad cover, so that’s on the list.

As for choosing a eco-friendly door color, we relied on our typical technique of taping up competitor swatches to see which one we liked finest in a lot of different illumination scenarios (early morning, afternoon, late at night with the light on, etc). The champion was Irish Moss by Benjamin Moore. Not as well dark, not as well light, not as well neon, as well as not as well yellow or blue.

I only needed a quart to get it done (I went with semi-gloss), even though it took three coats to get a good shiny surface with great coverage. strong colors such as this tend to look horrific for the very first coat or two as well as then magically shape up at the end. tinted primer most likely might have saved me one coat (in exchange for one coat of that) however I didn’t have it on hand, so I just did three coats of paint instead. I used the very first one with a brush…

… however changed to a clean + little foam roller combo for the second two coats, just to knock things out a bit faster. It’s the exact same technique we utilized on Clara’s door (three coats of paint used with a roller/brush combo) which has held up well for the last five months with heavy utilize so that’s good to know.

As for really getting the wardrobe ready, that just implied organizing things (lining up shoes, putting a few empty baskets on that top shelf for future use, putting some additional toys in a bin on the floor, as well as transferring excess clutter to the hall closet). The hall wardrobe is a much more spacious double-doored closet, so things that we won’t utilize for a while like a bumbo as well as the play table can go in there. We’re sure the nursery wardrobe will develop into much more advanced storage as the infant grows (might add some cubbies, a basket system, or a reading area on the floor depending upon our needs as we go), however it’s good to have a clean slate in there now.

We likewise had two good wood frames that I wished to hang on the curtain wall, so I was influenced by this no-longer-for-sale pear poster as well as just drew the shape in pencil on white foam core as well as utilized eco-friendly & brown finger paint from Clara’s stash. I’m sure as the bun grows we’ll switch it out for a household photo or a subject/animal that he likes – however it’s wonderful to have something there for now.

To make the lettered “Love You Forever” message below that, I took motivation from this print from a no-longer-in-business Etsy shop, as well as utilized black building paper as well as a pencil. I sketched out the letters roughly, cut them out, as well as laid them on one more white piece of foam core. I tried to keep them all similar in height, however I didn’t get caught up in perfection, thanks to the lovely irregularities in the motivation print.

When I was done I showed John as well as he came up with the concept to add some color to the V’s, so I utilized decorative paper from my craft wardrobe as well as a glue stay with connect them all to the foam core. We both like exactly how it came out – as wellas you can’t beat the cost (free) or the amount of time it took (around fifteen minutes).

Since Clara has a print in her space that states “You Are So Loved” it feels good to have a similar sentiment hanging in our son’s room. Sniffle.

Aren’t those wood frames good with the discolored top of the built-ins as well as the dark hardware on the drawers?

They likewise tie-in to the frames of the bike art as well as the altering table on the other side of the room, so there’s much more balance going on.

Speaking of wooden things, we discovered this adorable rocker at a regional thrift store called Consignment connection for $15. Clara is consumed (even though it looks delicate it quickly holds her weight) as well as believes her sibling is going to like it. Can’t wait to see if she’s right.

Slowly however surely, this space is coming along – we even believe we have a plan for the wall behind the crib after this publish o’ brainstorming (thanks to everybody for their thoughts as well as ideas!). We may wait up until the baby’s right here to knock that out, however in the meantime whatever from the toys on the built-ins to those elephants marching across the crib sheets as well as our new eco-friendly wardrobe door is making us much more thrilled than ever to bring house this bit guy of ours.

Even though we’re not performed in here, we concerned we’d miss the possibility to re-take our household photo before the bun is born (a custom that we started with Clara), so here’s the one we took when we started on the space back in January…

… as well as here’s one that we snapped yesterday. might I be much more pregnant? I laughed as well as asked John if he inflated my bump in photoshop (or hid my legs). turns out I just look such as this as well as my tummy truly is that far out in front of me. #watermelonsmuggler

And just since I can’t withstand a great waaaay back shot, here’s exactly how the space looked before we moved in last summer.

Even though we still have a lot of staying to-do listing items, it’s certainly feeling much more like a baby-ready space.

So our to-do listing officially appears like this:

get a altering pad cover

line the curtains with blackout liner as well as add some kind of black/brown/green trim detail?

tweak the wall behind the crib with wallpaper, a stencil, slatted wood, or some kind of accent color (we have a plan… we think…)

make a woodsy bit cuckoo clock (since I made one for Clara, I’d like to make a lovely bit rustic one for the bun as well)

add an overhead light on a dimmer because nothing’s there whatsoever best now (wish we might inspect this off however we can’t agree on a light we both like)

possibly add a softly colored ceiling someday? perhaps sky blue to add one more color to the mainly green/yellow/neutral/white palette?

add sconces to wall between the built-ins in a few years (we’ve chose these will be much more practical after the crib is swapped out for a twin bed, to be utilized as reading lights)

Is anybody else making art? having a curtain modification of heart? Or painting something a bold, saturated color? We never might have guessed we’d have a strong foyer door together with two in our youngsters rooms, however they’re proving to be somewhat addictive.

Psst- To checked out about all of the nursery updates from the beginning, here’s exactly how we painted all the pink trim, laid new hardwood floors, got a rug, painted the walls as well as ceiling, added built-ins to every corner of the crib wall, dealt with some infant bedding, hung some additional thick crown molding, filled up the built-ins, made some curtains, added a cupboard for open storage as well as diaper changes, as well as made a mobile for over the crib.

Psst- Wanna understand where we got something in our house? just click on this button: 

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Home Automation legislations

We’ve been sent this fascinating essay from Alex Chelmis. Take a few minutes to checked out his concepts as well as let us understand what you believe on our FORUMS or MAILING LIST.  Submission by: Alex Chelmis

Preface – Since I keep in mind myself, I have always been fascinated by robots. As a youngster it was my favourite day-dreaming subject as well as liked all the movies that featured robots of any type of kind. Soon I realised that I was likewise drawn in by other gadgets you might utilize in order to do an operation that would be as well difficult, or requirement as well much time as well as effort for a human.

At some point it ended up being remove that what really fascinated me was anything that would automate an operation which otherwise would requirement a human interaction. It was inevitable to autumn in like with the new “up-coming” world of house automation. Unfortunately, every time I tried to comply with a job published or advertised about house automation, I discovered myself getting confused as well as lastly tired with the details.

During the past 15 years I have visited exhibitions as well as checked out lots of articles as well as white papers offering “all in one” house automation solutions. After the preliminary excitement, I got confused with unnecessary challenging processes, providing me the feeling that they have totally missed the point.

Everything that currently exists under the title of “home automation” or “smart home” is a proprietary concept personalized to somebody else’s demands who is trying to persuade you that his daily needs are similar to yours. Any attempt to produce open requirements (X10) has failed to get broadly accepted as well as any type of only appeals to computer & electronic “geeks”.

I believe we got into this circumstance since people have forgotten the reason they wished to automate something in the very first place.
This is what this post is all about. Reminding people the basics, as well as assist them preserve the focus on satisfying the “why” while they come up with concepts of “how” they requirement to automate an operation. I believe there is a requirement for jobs to modification the method they are developed, in order to ended up being a lot more attractive to the typical person. It is about time for this market to hit the mass market as well as you can only accomplish that by speaking to the non-technical person. There is some much to gain from house automation, sufficient to modification our daily lives; forever… Introduction
As innovation progresses, a lot more as well as a lot more functions that we can integrate into a house automation system are born daily. new performance is what makes house automation interesting as well as this is generally because of the development of digital electronics.
Although electronics must not be the only player that defines a house automation design, they are absolutely playing the major function as they are normally representing the “brain” of the system that is able to make basic as well as challenging decisions.
If we look back in history (well before the electronic era) we can still see automation manage introduced into our daily life.
For example, lots of years back in a normal home the water was transported back house by buckets (or clay containers) for the function of drinking, washing as well as flushing.
Later, a pipe system was introduced that got water into the home just by turning a tap.
This was a normal house automation installation that gotten rid of the requirement for walking to the water source with a container as well as simplified a long (and painful) series of human actions with the basic turn of the tap.
The piping system introduced some new issue as well, such as the leaking, or the breaking of the pipes when the water inside got frozen.
In our days these issues can be resolved with further automation (electronic as well as mechanical parts that can spot such conditions) as well as either react by themselves (valves) or alert the individual (alarms) in order to stop further damage.
What I am trying to emphasise with the example above is that if we take a step back as well as observe our lives, we can see what was the function of any type of automation in the home atmosphere as well as under what needs as well as conditions that function was fulfilled.
In this post I would like to revisit the fundamental ideas of house automation as well as attempt to produce the essential legislations that can direct as well as define any type of automation design.
Home Automation Laws
If there had to be a single policy to comply with for any type of house automation design, everybody need to agree that it must be to satisfy the primary function of its existence. In other words to automate the atmosphere we live, in order to limit our physical actions to accomplish a certain task.
This is specifying the evident however most people tend to fail to remember or “relax”that policy when they get brought away with technology, complicating the performance as well as operation of their house automation styles by adding unnecessary “gadgets”.
Life has taught engineering that with any type of provided performance (of any type of design) there is an operational part that is similarly important. In house automation the “operation” of performance is a lot more crucial than the performance itself. The operation normally includes a human interaction which has to be gotten rid of or kept to the minimum in order to satisfy the extremely requirement of the automation.
Summarising the above to a single sentence, the very first legislation of house automation is to:
Eliminate or Simplify the requirement for individual Interaction

When I walk into a space as well as it is dark, I have to switch the light on. The “functionality” of having a light in my space needs the “operation” of changing the light on, which in this situation needs the “human interaction” of turning on a switch with my finger.
If I want to automate this procedure, I have to get rid of the requirement for the human interaction which means I have to get rid of the requirement for the operation to turn the switch with my finger, however somehow the light will come on when is needed.
Before I accomplish that I have to go with all the rational steps of that performance as well as introduce a system that will go with the exact same (or at least extremely similar) rational sequence that my brain did. In this situation the system has to spot my existence in the space as well as then choose if the existing natural light is adequate or there is a requirement for an artificial light to be changed on. If the system is as great as my brain undertaking these tasks, then as I walk into the space the light will come on immediately only when is needed.
The very first legislation needs a second legislation that completes the essential function of house automation. any type of system needs to be able to spot the present specify of any type of of its elements as well as make a decision to change that specify if it is necessary.
In our example, when we walk out of the space we will turn the light off. There are a few things we take into account before we take this action.
We are leaving the space so we no longer need lighting, however we understand that we are not coming back immediately, otherwise we would have left the light on as we do not want to keep repeating the exact same action so frequently. In the exact same method the system has to choose if there is no existence in the space as well as the light is on, this need to be an error condition as well as the light must be turned off. potentially a delay system will compensate for the situation we return to the space immediately. There may be other parameters that potentially need the light to stay changed on, however right here we are checking out a basic situation scenario.
At any type of time the system needs to be conscious of the specify of the light in that space as well as when the “reasons” for keeping the light on are no longer valid, it must take the decision to change the specify as well as turn the light off.
Now let’s check out an abnormal circumstance where the light bulb in that space is broken.
If I walk in the space as well as try to switch the light on I will get no response. This will timely me to repeat the action (testing the switch or testing my actual action of turning the switch). If I get no light again, then I will potentially inspect if I can turn the light on in one more location (checking if the home has power) as well as lastly I will inspect the actual bulb if it is broken.
In a normal house automation style the system needs to spot the error by itself as well as alert the individual for that error condition (since it cannot take any type of further physical action by itself). The system must be able to supply all the info it can, in order to get rid of the individual interaction in the process of the fault-finding. The system must understand that the home has power as well as the possible fault (or statistically logical) need to be the light bulb. It must alert the individual to manually confirm this statement as well as repair the problem. There might be an emergency light that might come up in situation light is needed for the actual inspect up.
All the above typical or abnormal conditions need the system to react on its own. as a result the second legislation of house automation is to:

Prevent or Alert about an error condition
The utilize of the word “error” refers to the wrong specify in the system as well as not necessarily to a problematic specify or fault.
The complexity of the system can grow enormously when further intelligence is added, as well as both basic as well as advanced systems can be similarly accepted as house automations if the satisfy the fist as well as second laws.
Home automation is not about bundling together every device offered in the market or adding unnecessary manage to an operation we do daily at home. A bit touch screen screen that screens different light switches as well as illumination themes, which by the method needs a couple of crucial presses for just turning the light on, it may look great however it must not be thought about a house automation design. The end result of a challenging switch is for the individual to spend a lot more time processing information, focusing on the digital switch in order choose the ideal button as well as spend a lot more time changing the light on as he would with the old fashion mechanical plastic switch.
The performance is a secondary requirement as we have very first to make sure the operation we automate is really getting rid of or simplifying the individual interaction as well as taking manage of the error condition.
A great deal of house automation systems (or often labelled “smart homes”) are designed sorely for the function to take manage of those abnormal conditions since the individual may not be present to react on time. For example, systems are designed for detecting leaking in a water pipe or a short circuit in the power network or an intrusion in the safety system.
Again, designing a system that aspects one legislation however ignores the other is not a house automation design. later we will see exactly how different labels can be provided to different styles according to their priorities.
If we accept these two legislations as the main rules for any type of house automation style we are serving the main function of its existence.
One of the very best methods to determine what we requirement to automate in our personal life is to film on a cam our normal day. When we playback all the everyday actions, we will discover operations that can be replaced by an automated system. Some operations are physical as well as some rational as well as both are needed to make the automation as total as possible.
Let’s observe a basic task of our everyday life. When we want to have a shower, utilizing our existing water piping as well as heating automation, there are some further tasks that we can get rid of from the human interaction.
To take a shower we very first make sure that there is hot water. We inspect the boiler as well as then turn on both the chilly as well as hot water while we try to get the preferred temperature. When the temperature is great sufficient (finger test), only then we are prepared to get wet.
A house automated system might tell us if there is hot water offered or a timer as it exists now in lots of locations pre-heats the water at a certain time according to our lifestyle. The system might be designed to immediately provide the water in a personalised or default finest temperature as well as get rid of the “finger testing”.
There is new innovation offered that can supply enjoyment during the shower (radio, music, video, etc) or a massage with water pressure. These new functionalities are all welcome in any type of house automation system as long as they adapt to the very first 2 main laws.
The last thing you want as a individual is a challenging shower-Jacuzzi system that needs a keyboard as well as a handbook in order to login as well as set it up every morning.
In other words, the added performance is a secondary requirement of an automated system, however still an crucial one. So the very first of the Secondary legislations is to:

Enhance Functionality
Everybody preaches that effectiveness saves energy which equates into saving money.
An automated system can choose when it is finest to warm the water taking into account things like night/day electrical energy charges, utilising the home heating system or getting hot water from the sun cell system on the roofing (or an effective combination of all the above). lots of so called “smart homes” are designed only as energy effective systems. Those systems if they cannot satisfy the very first 2 main legislations they must be treated as energy saving systems as well as not as house automation systems.
Therefore, the next secondary legislation of house automation is to:

Preserve energy
These 4 legislations can completely explain the utilize of a house automation system as well as when complied with with the hierocracy explained above they will always satisfy the primary purpose, which is the automation of our everyday life environment.
Personal ID
As we mentioned before in the shower example, the system might always supply hot water to a default temperature or to a personalised one.
This is a tricky one for technology. The system is needed to determine private individuals in order to apply personal preferences. There are 2 levels of automation that you can apply to accomplish this. The very first is semi-automatic, where the individual has to identify-register himself when the system needs that information. examples vary from challenging voice recognition systems, to basic choice of personalised buttons however both depend on a human interaction

3 basic UPGRADES TO PREPARE YOUR home available

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You’re ready to put your house on the market in Calgary, and you also want to receive the highest value possible for your home. Some basic upgrades can help you achieve this. So how can you keep your upgrades basic and make sure a good return on investment?

In this article, Can Do a lot more painting – restoration & design shares three basic upgrades that will increase your ROI and step your house off the market faster.

Interior paint
Painters in Calgary can make your home look fresh, modern and inviting with an impressive interior paint job. With a few coats of the ideal colour, and various painting techniques, you can take an outdated, drab-looking home and transform it into the kind of house buyers are attracted to. If you don’t have the budget to paint the whole house, it’s nothing to worry about. even a kitchen freshen can do wonders to increase the value and overall look. paint the bathrooms and, perhaps, the master bedroom with a feature wall, to really take it up a notch.

However, choosing the ideal paint colours to put your house on the market is key. avoid bold or bright colours, as those might not appeal to all buyers. Instead, consider light neutral tones that create a blank canvas for the next potential owner. The skilled professionals at Can Do a lot more painting – restoration & design are here to help!

Cabinet renovation
It’s a misconception that you need brand-new kitchen cabinets to elevate your home’s value and aesthetic. Replacing cabinets is also time-consuming and costly. Calgary cabinet refinishing is an exceptional alternative. cabinet refinishing is another term for cabinet painting. painting your cabinet doors and drawers can completely transform any room with cabinetry, giving it the look of a major upgrade without the price tag.

If you’ve got it in the budget to do a little more, cabinet re-dooring is another upgrade option to get your home ready for sale. instead of replacing your cabinets, just the doors are replaced in this process. This isn’t the kind of job you want to take on yourself. Skilled professionals will use various techniques and minor modifications to make sure sensational results!

Can Do a lot more paint – restoration & design has got you covered here! They can also walk you through all options to help you decide if cabinet painting in Calgary or cabinet re-dooring is worth the investment for your particular home sale.

Interior door and trim paint
Another basic upgrade option that can go a long way is painting interior doors and trim in your home. This is another high-impact, affordable paint option. lots of people don’t give interior door, and trim paint much thought relating to home upgrades. However, doors and trim can get scuffed and banged up over time. A fresh coat of paint will make it look new again. Can Do a lot more paint – restoration & design has the experience and knowledge for all-things-door-and-trim paint!

Contact Can Do a lot more paint – restoration & design today! You’ll have your upgrades done and your home looking amazing and ready available in no time!


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by shareaholic


Bachelor apartment ideas

Q. I live in a bachelor apartment that is approximately 22 feet x 17 feet. how do I make it suitable as a living and sleeping area without having too much clutter and people sitting on my bed?

? Jennifer

A. small space living is always challenging, but no matter the size of the room, there are always ways to make it not only livable, but practical and stylish as well.

A daybed is a perfect solution for your space. Camouflaged as a sofa with stylish pillows and finished off with a storage ottoman/coffee table, no one will know it is transformed into your bed at night! use storage containers under the bed if space permits, and install shelving over the daybed for showing picture groupings. A large mirror or group of mirrors over the daybed will also reflect light and space, making the room seem larger.

A small, round table can act as an end table/breakfast area. placed beside the daybed with a few books and a pretty lamp, it works as an end table or night table, and flanked with pretty bistro chairs it becomes a dining table.

Hinged ottomans do double duty as storage benches and are terrific for small living spaces. These can be used at the foot of your daybed as an ottoman, an extra seat, a laundry hamper, or a storage bin for all of the apartment’s clutter.

A little BLOGIVERSARY press

Our custom-made mood board services were written up in The Washington post this morning and the timing couldn’t be better- delighted blogiversary to us! We’ve been pointed out in The Post’s “Blog Watch” section before, but this is the first time that we’ve been “featured” in a full post and we couldn’t be a lot more excited.

For any individual who’d like to take a peek at our new press, click here to get the scoop and read a lot more about the “eDecorating” trend. and for any individual who is discovering our blog for the first time, welcome! We hope that you make yourself ideal at home. Click here to learn a lot more about our custom-made decorating recommendations and be sure to check out our three a lot of popular before & after makeovers below.

First there’s Stacie, who bought a custom-made mood board to lighten up in her dark bedroom. here are the before shots:

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But once we whipped up an open and airy mood board for Stacie, this was the dramatic after:

Another one of our a lot of popular mood board makeovers occurred in Tiffany’s family room, where she hired us to help her spice up her space with some worldly flavor. Here’s the blank slate before:

We put our heads together to come up with a global mood board for Tiffany. Without additionally ado, the exciting and international after:

Yet another fan favorite when it pertains to our custom-made makeovers was the under $200 improvement that we pulled off in Carrie’s apartment. Here’s the living/dining/kitchen area before:

And the rearranged and affordably accented after:

So whaddya think? and thanks so much for stopping by. Y’all come back now, ya hear?

More articles from young house Love

SHS2007 video – Schneider electric / Clipsal C-Bus

We’ve just uploaded one more video from the wise house show last weekend. this is a 7-minute trip of the Schneider electric stand featuring their Clipsal C-Bus switches (including the DLT’s with developed in LCD screens) in addition to the new Delta8 Phone/Data/TV distribution product.

We currently have 8 videos online from the show, inspect them out right here –

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See inside Angelina Jolie Pitt’s $2M childhood home

just outside of Manhattan in Palisades, new York, sits a 1958 gable-roofed home that once heard the pitter-patter of Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie Pitt’s feet. The two-acre childhood home of the acclaimed actress is now up to buy and you can purchase it for $2.049M. See inside the lovely home once owned by the renowned beauty’s family.

Complete with four bedrooms and four baths, this cabin-like home housed the Girl, Interrupted star and her brother, James Haven, in the ‘80s after her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, split from spouse Jon Voight. This was long before the philanthropist hit A-list status.

30-foot ceilings, an huge skylight and a welcoming front entry with rustic brick adorn the interior of the exceptional 4,088-square-foot property.

Natural stonework climbs up the side of the huge 30-foot wall, adding rustic charm to the property.

Previous owner and house-flipper Eugene Kohn renovated the home with contemporary accents like stainless steel appliances and sleek white cabinetry.

Bold period railings and exposed large ceiling beams flank the second floor hallway.

Oak, yearn and redwood bring warmth into the Rockland county home that sits on roughly two acres of secluded land.

Clean lines and white marble create easy charm in the principal bath.

A brick terrace looks out onto the sprawling two acres of land. could you see yourself raising the next Oscar winner to live inside Angelina’s childhood home? tell us in the comments below.

My Automated Home: Dan McGrath & the iphone gate

This month’s ‘My Automated Home’ comes from serial hacker Dan McGrath.  We’ve covered some of Dan’s previous projects and they’re always fascinating .  this one is no different, employing Perl, Apache and a magnetic door release to automate his garden gate release.

“Intro – What’s all this about then? Well, I’ve got loads of home automation, and I love it! Purely for the fun of it, I chose to automate the locking and unlocking of my side gate.

Design – I’ve already got an always on home automation server, an always on Internet connection and several serial to relay devices which control my various systems around the house.

The idea here is simple, use my existing infrastructure to control a magnetic door release catch on my side gate.  The full plan is a easy web page + CGI which can be accessed on my iphone (or other device with a browser).  then just type in a secret PIN code, that will set off the CGI code, write out a file on the webserver, which my home automation system will pick up, then parse and if all is well then switch on a relay which is connected to the door release catch. Simple!!

Here are some extracts/snippets of the code I’ve written and used, you are much more than welcome to use any of it…

Main home Automation Code
Keypad HTML
Keypad CGI
Some Middleware module for controlling lights

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New Christmas Tree ornaments for every design style

Whether you choose a woodsy and rustic look or a classic red-and-white tree, you’ll find ornaments in this gallery to add to your collection this year.

Plus, see 15 much more Christmas decorations we’re loving and find much more inspiration in our Tree-Trimming Guide.

These felted ornaments by Boston-Based artist Mimi Kirchner are inspired by vintage dolls and toys.

2″ w. x 7″ h. $14 (each), $24 (pair). West Elm.

Sparkle and shine! five acorns are attached to form one significant ornament.

8.5″ h. $18. Putti fine Furnishings.

A knit covered-sphere harkens back to woolly sweaters, mitts and hats.

4″ diam. Approx. $12. Pottery Barn.

This ornament talks to those who make a trip to their local tree farm every Christmas.

6.25″ w. x 2.25″ l. x 4″ h. Approx. $20. Pottery Barn.

If you can’t get enough of the gemstone trend, these dynamic slices are the ones to choose. Strung on natural twine to keep the focus on the colour.

1 1/2–2” h. Approx. $10. Leif Shop.

In signature Kate Spade–style, playful curly lines add detail to porcelain white ornaments. green and red ribbons with a gold accent give these ornaments a contemporary look.

3.5” h. (reindeer). 4” h. (tree). Approx. $32 each. Kate Spade.

A whimsical hot air balloon decoration brings a playful touch to a tree.

3.25″ h. × 3.25″ w. × 7″ l. $18. Indigo.

Make a wish! Gold accents and bright pastel shades are sure to make the wishbone ornament stand apart on the tree.

2.5″ h. × 4.5″ w. × 0.25″ l. $15. Indigo.

Pretty and pink much more your taste? These mouth-blown glass ornaments suit a pastel palette.

3¼” diam. $15 for two. IKEA.

A comprehensive ornament cap sets this glass ornament aside from others, and provides a vintage vibe.

$4. HomeSense.

Solid wood spheres suit a pared-back look.

Set of three. $10. IKEA.

This embroidered felt ornament brings a rich, ornate look to a tree.

4″ diam. $10. Crate & Barrel.

Hand-sewn in India and developed by Cynthia Treen, this magical octopus is sure to win any snowball fights.

7.5″ w. x 6″ d. x 3″ h. $13. Crate & Barrel.

These star, diamond and cubic decorations in blue, pink and teal offer a fresh, mod take on classic tree ornaments of the same shape.

2″ w. x 2″ d. x 2″ h. (cube); 2″ w. 1″ d. x 1″ h. (diamond); 5″ w. x 1″ d. x 5″ h. (star). $6 each. CB2.These modern ornaments imitate the look of renowned Sputnik light fixtures and are made of resilient borosilicate glass — the same kind used for beakers.

4 3/4″ diam. $10 each. CB2.

Felted wildlife ornaments help to create a woodsy theme on a tree. This collection by designer Bunny Williams includes a sheep, deer, fox, dog, squirrel and owl.

3–6 1/2” h. x 3-7” w. set of six. Approx. $81. Ballard Designs.