#33 Tech to simplify our day

Automated Faucets

1. We automated the faucets with this motion or touch technology from Delta Faucets. It keeps the countertops clean from dripping hands and it keeps faucets clean from dirty fingers. Oh, and it makes the necessary yet mundane things like washing hands go faster. It even has an LED light that indicates the water temperature. We have these faucets in the main bathroom, the master bathroom, and in the kitchen.

Automated Blinds

2. We automated the blinds with PowerView and SoftTouch technology from Hunter Douglas. With a quick tap on the wand or a click on the remote, the blind moves in place while you walk away. Once again, a twice-daily task is faster making our day more efficient and our outlook (literally) sunnier.

Automated Garbage Bin

3. We automated the garbage cabinet with servo drive technology from Blum. With a gentle push on the handle or the door, the garbage pops out at me. Our first thought was to keep the cabinet in good shape but having the ability to open this cabinet hands free is awesome (like when I just cracked an egg)! It’s another small way to make daily tasks more efficient.

Automated Lighting

4. We automated the lighting with motion sensors. More often than not, my hands are full when I'm entering certain rooms like the mud room or the laundry room. A motion sensor removes the burden of stumbling through a dark room or having to drop everything to flip a switch. Every time I enter the laundry room with a full basket of clothes in my hand, I’m so grateful for that sensor. Also, coming in from the garage with my arms loaded with my work gear and the mail, I’m so grateful for that sensor. We used the Lutron brand in our home which also has some great additional features that allows us to control some of the dimmers with an app on our phone.

All of these features cost a bit more but daily life is so much more efficient! Keep in mind that many of the features involved some planning and a lot of help from our electrician. We can still both recall our frozen feet and hands when doing the electrical walk through very early on in the building process. Thinking through these details, however, has proven to be so WORTH IT!

#30 Outdoor Living

We live in Wisconsin where there are very few weeks during the year where outside dining (and sometimes sitting) is comfortable. Instead of lions, tigers and bears, there are mosquitoes, flies, and bees. Oh my!

Even with the pesky visitors, outdoor living is awesome! Nothing beats grilling out with a cold beer on a warm summer day.

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When designing the house, we thought about how these outdoor spaces relate to the indoors. We put the grilling patio near the kitchen. In fact, the kitchen sink is on the other side of that window with the arch top - only 5-ish steps away from the patio. Then we added the screen porch on the other side. Perfect for bug-free dining and lounging. All in, these two areas seat 12 people comfortably with room for extra chairs to be brought in.

We actually love how the patio is tucked away instead of out in the open. We also love that putting the screen porch on the side of the house instead of the back allows for a better view from the dining room.

Besides dining, we also wanted the screen porch to accommodate some lounge furniture. The result is a comfortable mix of dining and lounging with some additional floor space to accommodate larger groups when needed.

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Like many of our rooms, it could use a few more decorations but we're keeping things simple for now and loving the extra space.


This is a view of our inspiration photo from houzz. It’s nice to have photos like this to reference when construction is happening.

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Check out the Shop Our House page to learn more about the products and finishes we selected for our outdoor living.  

#27 Window Treatments

We L.O.V.E. our new blinds. Really, we do!

There are 8 windows in the front of the house. We wanted all of the windows to have a similar treatment so the look is consistent.

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We love the look of plantation shutters but we felt that the shutters would mostly be covering the windows with the vanes either open or closed. We wanted something that would open up the windows a bit more.

So, we went with Silouettes by Hunter Douglas. The wide vane creates the look of shutters but they roll up nicely into a head rail at the top of the window for a clear open option. They come in wide widths as well so we were able to do just one blind for each set of windows. 

The layering of the sheer fabric allows for light to come through but still allows for privacy.



Three reasons why we love THESE BLINDS:

The design allows each vane to magically float between two sheer panels. Creating a sculptural look.

The design allows each vane to magically float between two sheer panels. Creating a sculptural look.

Adjusting the vanes in different angles diffuses sunlight and creates ambient light throughout each room.

Adjusting the vanes in different angles diffuses sunlight and creates ambient light throughout each room.

Each shade has ultra-sheer panels that allow you to see outside clearly while still protecting you from UV rays.

Each shade has ultra-sheer panels that allow you to see outside clearly while still protecting you from UV rays.


Even easy to use for august

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Because there is a large built-in under our daughter's windows, it would've been a reach to get to a controller on the wall. We splurged a bit more and went with a remote controlled blind to allow for easy up and down. Her blind also has a second layer that blocks out most of the light so she has lots of flexibility in how much light comes in. It's been helpful during the summer when her bedtime is before nightfall. 

And now for the cream of the crop…

For the master bedroom and for my office, we installed Hunter Douglas Softtouch™ Motorization blinds. The quick touch of the wand signals the blind to automatically roll open or up. Yes, this feature is expensive but for us... it's SO worth it. We spent a lot of money on these windows and we want it to be easy peasy to see them during the daytime. We know that if we would've had to manually open and close 8 separate blinds every damn day (excuse my french)... it just wouldn't have happened.

We can pop into every room each morning and touch the wand or push the button on the control and we’re ready for the day.

 

H&R Carpets sells these blinds (and many other brands and styles). Visit hrcarpets.com, stop in, or call (608) 849-7482 to find out more!