The holidays are approaching, and that means lots of gifts lying around the house, busy schedules, and trips to visit family. The months of November and December are notorious for having the highest break-in statistics. Here, we've compiled a list of tips and tricks for keeping your home safe this season, so you can focus on what's really important.
1. Don't Put Your Security Keyboard on Your Home's Exterior
Cutting Edge Systems recently blogged about the importance of installing your security keypad on the interior of your home, instead of the exterior. When your security keypad is on the outside of the house, it is subject to damage by the elements. With winter approaching, there's sure to be lots of wind, rain, and snow here in New England. If your security keypad gets damaged, the entire system could be compromised, leaving your home at risk for a break-in. Also, an exterior keypad is subject to theft, and possible intruders are able to see if your home is armed or not.
2. Hire Somebody To Plow Your Driveway While You're Away
Architecture by Battle Associates Architects
Most landscape companies in the Northeast also offer plowing services in the winter. If you are away visiting family during a snowstorm, it will be obvious that you aren't home when your driveway remains covered in inches of snow. A plowed driveway makes it look like somebody is home, deterring possible thieves. And, you won't have to shovel when you return!
3. Set Up a Home Surveillance System
Elite Media Solutions offers top-of-the-line surveillance cameras and monitors. Check in on what's going on in and around your home from the couch, your bedroom, or from across the country. The sophisticated camera system will catch any motion and activity, and in the event of a crime, the captured images and video can serve as evidence.
4. Automate Your Home
What tips do you have for deterring intruders and keeping your home safe? Share with us in the comment section.
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Built by brookes + hill Custom Builders
Architecture by Duckham Architecture & Interiors
Built by Soderholm Custom Builders
Built by Howell Custom Building Group
"Before" photo from Cambridge renovation
"After" photo from Cambridge renovation
Now through December 31, Boston-area residents can submit their old home and property for a chance to have it renovated by the "This Old House" crew and featured on the show!
What's more important than making an entrance? We've compiled some of our favorite foyers and entryways, from wonderfully simple to colorful and statement-making.
This sleek, minimalist entryway uses clean, straight lines and contrasting colors to create a serene entrance to the home. The clear glass center table adds a modern touch.
This Mission-Style foyer makes beautiful use of space. The intricate woodwork on the staircase brings the eye up, and the large piece of abstract art on the left wall is a sophisticated way to bring a serious splash of color.
The majestic, sweeping foyer space below evokes old, Grand-style staircases. A beautiful way to take advantage of high ceilings and palatial proportions.
The entryway below takes a simpler approach, with white-painted wood walls and ceiling. Light hardwood gives the space a casual feel, and a large, rustic hanging pendant lamp brings warmth and elegance.
Brookes + Hill, Photo by Michael Lee
The foyer below is unconventional in both color and decor. The bright blue walls are unexpected, but work when combined with the dark hardwood of the gorgeous center table and furniture accents. The hanging crystal chandelier gives the room grace and Old World beauty.
We've compiled the ultimate shopping list for everybody on your list this holiday season.
For the chef in your circle, we've selected the Paderno Spiralizer and Cookbook from Williams Sonoma. A spiralizer takes any vegetable or fruit - squash, radishes, cucumber, apple, etc and cuts it into spiral spaghetti shapes. The possibilities for recipes are endless - think spiralized apple fruit salad, or cucumber pasta with tomato sauce. A great way to incorporate fruits and veggies into every delicious meal.
Paderno Spiralizer and Cookbook from Williams Sonoma
For the lover of all things music, we found the coolest headphone set out there -the Friends Taylor Headphones from Lord and Taylor. Not only do they offer impressive noise-canceling ability, they're also super stylish and beautiful, a fashion accessory in and of themselves.
Friends Taylor Headphones from Lord and Taylor
For the more literary-inclined, a Spineless Classic poster is the perfect accent to decorate their reading nook. The Spineless Classic posters feature a full-length novel printed on a single page, and are available for all of the major classics - Romeo & Juliet, Pride and Prejudice (below), The Great Gatsby, 1984, The Princess Bride and many more.
For the wine enthusiast, the Match Pewter Wine Cooler is the perfect gift. It is both useful and beautiful, and sure to delight any lover of fine wines.
Match Pewter Wine Cooler from Didriks.com
For the sport-loving man, cuff links made from game-used pucks (or baseballs or stadium seats) are the perfect thoughtful gift.
For the host or hostess, this Teak Root Serving Platter is a gift they will cherish for years. Its beautifully rustic design is both unique and practical, and sure to come in handy for dinner parties and cocktail hours for years to come.
Teak Root Serving Platter from Uncommon Goods
Finally, for your fashion-forward friend who's always out and about, this Kate Spade New York I Kissed A Frog Clutch is the perfect sparkly accessory for the holiday season.
There's nothing chicer than a Parisian apartment. However, if you aren't lucky enough to reside in the city of lights for real, there's still ways to make your home or apartment feel like this luxurious French city.
Nestled in the center of bustling Newbury Street, Sonsie is a trendy restaurant perfect for a night on the town. Sonsie has been thriving in the heart of Boston's Back Bay area for the past 21 years, and features an eclectic and ever-changing International menu of creations by award-winning Chef Bill Poirier. Sonsie's gorgeous French doors mean easy people watching from a cozy table indoors, or in the summer, open patio-style dining.
Jan Gleysteen Architects celebrates 25 years in business this month.
A full service architectural firm, Jan Gleysteen Architects is founded upon the philosophy of excellent design, sound management, technical knowledge, and creative collaboration with clients.
(Kitchen Design by Jan Gleysteen Architects)
Their projects are based on innovative design ideas combined with classic elegance.
(Dining Room Design by Jan Gleysteen Architects, Photo by Richard Mandelkorn)
Over the years, Jan Gleysteen Architects have been the recipients of many prestigious awards, including the Bulfinch Award for "Best Suburban Residence" in 2011
(2011 Bulfinch Award, "Best Suburban Residence")
The "2012 Traditional Home of the Year" by Boston Globe Magazine
("2012 Traditional Home of the Year" by Boston Globe Magazine)
And a 2009 LEED for Homes Gold certification from the USGBC.
With over 30 years of professional architecture experience, Jan Gleysteen has worked on custom residential projects, office buildings, corporate facilities, renovations, additions, interiors, and landscape design.
(Architecture by Jan Gleysteen Architects, Photo by Richard Mandelkorn)
Mr. Gleysteen received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University in 1976, and a Master of Architecture degree from the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning at Columbia University in 1980.
(Foyer Design by Jan Gleysteen Architects, Photo by Richard Mandelkorn)
Mr. Gleysteen is currently a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Boston Society of Architects. He also serves as a Board Member of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classic Architecture and Art.