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How to Give Furniture a Vintage or Rustic Effect

Many homeowners use procedures to distress their furniture. When a furniture piece has a vintage look, it has more character. Although there are stores that sell vintage furniture...

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Anne Reichman

Anne Reichman

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Axil Comras

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How Smart is Your Home?

How Smart is Your Home?

Do you remember the children's show Pee Wee's Playhouse? Pee Wee lived in a miraculous abode complete with a talking clock, a chair that hugged whomever took a seat, and a refrigerator full of food that could sing and dance. While we're probably a long way off from  homes that are quite that intelligent (or fun), we're not far off from greener homes that are smart enough to retain their own insulation and have rooms that only light up when the inhabitants walk inside.

These new "smart homes" are currently gaining popularity in countries like Spain and Sweden. The Smart Energy Home Initiative aims to design more of them and present model homes in various cities around Europe. The main focus of the new homes will be to reduce energy costs by retaining 75% of the heat that escapes through an average home's roof and walls.

The architects and engineers behind this new initiative are confident in the technology and construction, however they're still crossing their fingers on whether or not the public will be willing to pay for it. "The 'smartness' of people is growing with economic pressures from high-energy costs," Laszlo Bax, a Smart Energy Home consultant told Live Science.

More efficient methods of insulation cost up to $10 a square foot to install, but experts say these improvements would pay for themselves in less than ten years. Would you be willing to make the investment for your green home?

Posted: 7/26/08