Best in Show: Our Top 5 Home Makeovers of 2022

2022 has been a year of incredible makeovers here at Today’s Homeowner. Here are our favorite before-and-after transformations from the past year.

This front porch now invites you to pull up a chair and enjoy the view. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

5. Front Porch Makeover

Mike and Leigh Ann have a beautiful piece of property that they share with their horses. But they felt like the front of their house lacked the visual appeal that the land it sits on deserved.

The walkway to it was incomplete and unattractive, while the front porch was a sea of dingy paint, stuck on the front of a white house. There was nothing to draw you in or make you feel welcome.

But now, the front porch is freshly painted, and even though we only added a little gray to the mix, there’s enough contrast to give the space some personality.

The rotten wood and peeling paint are gone, and so is the poorly poured sidewalk. In its place is a symmetrically arranged walkway of 12 stepping stones — made from Quikrete’s Walkmaker molds — that create a graceful transition to the porch steps.

The porch now invites you to pull up a chair and enjoy the view.

Large-format pavers make the patio seem larger than it actually is and the new fire pit is the ideal spot for entertaining. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

4. Two Patios are Better Than One

Jerry and Shay have a beautiful backyard with great shade trees and a lush lawn. But their old fire pit had seen better days and the existing patio offered few opportunities to enjoy the outdoor space. It was too small for entertaining and the monotone color palette lacked any real interest.

Now, the whole backyard has come alive

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Stainless Steel Cleaners for Almost Everything

Choosing the right stainless steel cleaner is much simpler than shopping for a new refrigerator or stove for your home. Still, a stainless steel cleaner is important to keep your appliances looking brand new long after you install them. Here are a few things to consider:

✔️ Surface type: You don’t want to use the same stainless steel cleaner on your refrigerator that you use on your outdoor grill. Some stainless steel surfaces, like grills, require more abrasive formulas than your kitchen appliances do. A formula that’s too abrasive can cause damage that no cleaner, polish or mineral oil will be able to buff away.

✔️ Application style: Stainless steel cleaners most often come as sprays, powders or wipes. Which you opt for all comes down to convenience. Powders need to be mixed with water to form a paste, so they require an extra step. If you’re looking to make cleaning a one-step process, go for a wipe that requires no extra tools and can be disposed of immediately after use. Looking to reduce your environmental footprint? Ditch the wipes and paper towels for a washable microfiber cloth that you can reuse whenever it’s time to give your appliances a quick polish.

✔️ Polish: Some stainless steel cleaners only clean surfaces without bringing back the shine they had when you first bought them. If you’re looking to make your stainless steel sparkle again, look for a product designed to polish as well as clean. Plus, if your cleaner leaves a protective film on your appliances, you won’t have to worry about cleaning fingerprints and greasy stains so often!

✔️ Scent: Many cleaning products leave an all too familiar chemical smell lingering on the surfaces we clean — some of us love it and others don’t! If you prefer a

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How to Clean a Coffee Maker (And Why You Should Be Doing It More Often)

If a good cup of coffee is your morning beverage of choice, it’s not only important to have a great coffee maker, but it’s just as important to deep-clean it regularly, especially if you use it daily. Without proper cleaning, coffee oils can build up in the carafe, the basket and elsewhere and cause your brew to taste bitter. Or, let it go long enough and there could be yeast and mold hiding in the reservoir, according to a 2011 study by NSF International. Though these nasties likely won’t seriously impact your health, just the thought of them lurking in your coffee maker is unpleasant, to say the least. Instituting a regular coffee maker cleaning ritual is easy to do and provides a big payoff when it comes to taste. Follow the steps below to clean a standard drip coffee maker.

Wondering how to deep-clean a K-Cup machine? We’ve got you covered: Follow our guide to cleaning Keurig coffee makers. And don’t forget about cleaning your travel mugs too!

How to Clean a Coffee Maker

Cleaning this countertop appliance on a regular basis actually takes very little effort. Carolyn Forté, executive director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Home Care & Cleaning Lab, says with a little bit of water, soap and vinegar, you’ll be good to go. Forté also mentioned that it’s best to check the cleaning instructions from your coffee maker’s manufacturer, as all machines are slightly different. Follow its guidelines or these simple steps:

What You’ll Need

Step 1: Wash removable parts with dish soap after every use.

      “This is important because it helps remove coffee drips, grinds and the oils that are left behind,” Forté says. “You can hand-wash the pieces at the sink in warm, soapy water, but often the parts

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      50 Popular Living Room Paint Colors for 2023

      When designing your living room, it’s important to carefully consider the color of your walls — as the right paint hue can completely change the look and feel of a room. Warm tones, like creamy beige, chocolate browns, rusty reds or desert-inspired hues, bring energy into a space and instantly make it feel more cozy. Cool tones, like popular crisp whites, classic gray, soothing greens and fresh blues, evoke feelings of calm and help small spaces feel larger. No matter what mood you’re trying to create, we’ve rounded up the best living room colors — including links to our favorite shades from Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore and Clare.

      Our list doesn’t shy away from color — we’ve got sunny yellow, vibrant pink, bright blue, plum purple and green living rooms (from light to dark). We could never forget the classic paint colors, like elegant beige and warm white. We even sprinkled in some moody hues, like black, deep green and midnight blue. As you scroll through these living room paint ideas, you’ll find a selection of trending colors — including a few of the 2023 Colors of the Year, like Benjamin Moore’s Raspberry Blush and Behr’s Blank Canvas.

      Whether you’ve just moved in or your living room is in need of a modern makeover, you’re sure to find a paint shade that sparks your interest. Who knows? You might even be inspired to test a few of this year’s top design trends.

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      Getting Your Dishwasher Clean Is Easier Than You Think

      You might think that your dishwasher is cleaning itself while it’s cleaning your dishes, but trust us, it isn’t. And while we still advise against prewashing your dishes to save water and energy, over time, bits of food, grease, undissolved detergent and water minerals can build up on the dishwasher’s filter and interior walls — and even clog the spray arms. That’s why running regular cleaning cycles and keeping your dishwasher clean are so important. Aside from the unpleasant smell and unsightly look this gunk leaves behind, it can also leave spots and film on your glassware, dinnerware and flatware, no matter how carefully and correctly you load the dishwasher. Plus, residue buildup can damage the dishwasher’s filter and pump, ultimately resulting in costly repairs.

      In the Good Housekeeping Institute Home Care & Cleaning Lab, we have lots of experience keeping dishwashers clean. Along one wall in our Lab, we have stations to hold six full-size dishwashers for testing, and new models are constantly coming in and going out. And our GH test kitchens have multiple dishwashers too. After testing hundreds of dishwashers, dishwasher detergents and dishwasher cleaners, we’ve uncovered the best methods for how to clean a dishwasher and help keep it clean and odor-free.

      How often to clean your dishwasher

      How frequently your dishwasher needs cleaning depends on how many cycles you run daily or weekly. Assuming you run a load every day, here are the things to do daily, weekly and monthly to help keep your dishwasher clean:

      • Daily or after every load: Remove visible bits of food from inside the filter well and the bottom of the dishwasher.
      • Weekly: Wipe down the door edges and gasket to get rid of any debris, and remove and clean the filter.
      • Monthly: Deep-clean
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