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Five Home and Garden Modernizations That Weren’t Available 20 Years Ago

Things come, things go, things break, and things get repaired. Some things pass through time and some stick. But no matter what, innovation will never stop. That said, in this article, we will be highlighting a few things that are of the new-age. Things that most likely weren’t available (or in some cases, even heard of) twenty years ago!

Five Home and Garden Modernizations That Weren’t Available 20 Years Ago

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Five Home and Garden Modernizations That Weren’t Available 20 Years Ago (Photo by Yuiizaa September on Unsplash)

Home Modernizations

Home modernizations in 2018 are all about one thing, technology-to-home (or vice versa) integration! Let’s look at some of the wonderful innovations this decade and how you can make your home “smart.”

  1. Live-feed Monitoring via Smartphones

While yes, we have had CCTV and live viewing in the past 5 decades, we’ve always had to be clamped down in front of the computer screen to do so. In this era, we can simply watch and record security footage straight from the thing we always carry around in our pocket. Always. I mean, do you even remember intentionally leaving it at home?

These are good for:

  • Security (breach, theft, etc.)
  • Baby monitoring
  • Pet monitoring

One such great brand that excels in this field is Blink home security cameras and Nest Cam Indoor/Outdoor. These are capable of the following;

  • Live HD Video

Check back in with live HD video and audio streaming right on your smartphone from any of your cameras.

  • Weatherproofing

These water-resistant cameras boasts clear, HD quality video no matter the forecast of the day.

  • Motion Alerts

These babies take a home security system a step further with motion alerts. These cameras detect motion in your home and send alerts with HD video and audio right to your smartphone.

  1. A.i. Assistants Integration With Home Appliances

If you’re not too disconnected with the times, chances are you have already heard about this invention. The more popular ones are Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s… Assistant. Yes, just that.

In 2018, these AI assistants are now capable of multitudes of functions. Instead of being just another trivial, luxury gadget that doesn’t do much; these inventions are now capable of doing what they were ideally made for; assisting!

A.i. Assistants Integration With Home Appliances

But for this article, we shall focus on the two where home modernizations apply in a wide array of collaborating gadgets; Alexa and Assistant! Here are the key features of each:

Amazon’s Alexa:

Compatible for integration with a wide range of products.

One of which is Ecobee’s Switch+ which has a motion detector; therefore allowing itself to turn the lights in your house on and off automatically for you.

Also built-in is a temperature sensor, so you’ll be able to link it to your Ecobee smart thermostat to make sure all of your rooms are being heated or cooled properly.

Alexa is also compatible with security-oriented products, such as Netgear Arlo Q. This device is made for indoor security. The camera is known for its ease of use, great 1080p video—day or night—and generous storage plans. You can also use Alexa to view a live feed from the Arlo Q through the Amazon Echo Show.

Google Assistant:

Not one to be left behind by its rival, the Google Assistant packs a feature-filled punch as well!

The Assistant can be helpful in the kitchen. With its compatibility and integration with Anova Precision Cooker, it can do a job well done for you.

When you’re hands are full or occupied in the kitchen, voice control can be a life-saver. With Google Home integration and the Anova Cooker, you’ll be able to start a sous-vide cooking session, raise and lower cooking temperatures, check how long is left on the timer, see how long you have been cooking, and more.

For your garage, Google Assistant also has an available treatment for you here.

Google Home users can now open and close their garage doors using voice commands. Chamberlain has Google Assistant support for its MyQ garage door opener; previously, it had only worked with Alexa.

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Garden Modernizations

  1. Modern Patio Paving

The theme here is simplicity and/or minimalist. Modern paving materials are simple, clean and have an organic quality. Concrete pavers and wood are the materials of choice for landscape designers. They can be used alone or in conjunction with each other.

Curved lines should be avoided when designing a modern patio. Ninety-degree angles and straight edges work best.

Characteristics of Modern Paving Design:

  • Using an oversized grid pattern
  • Creating straight lines by running materials in the same direction
  • Creating geometric patterns


A popular paving choice for a modern patio would be square or rectangular concrete pavers. It is recommended to try and emulate a geometric pattern; laying them in a grid. The spaces between each paver can be filled with gravel, river rock, or fake grass. Heck, you may even opt to grow real grass in between if you don’t mind the maintenance.

  1. Wood Decking

First off, what is the difference between a patio and decking?

Traditionally, a patio is built at ground level. It must be on a level surface and is normally constructed with permanence in mind. Materials used in this case would be brick, stone pavers, or poured concrete.

Decking, on the other hand, floats above the ground and is supported by footings. These are usually anywhere from a few inches in height to many feet. Decking can also be built on an existing slope, so isn’t confined to the level ground.

But, they can collaborate.

A paving option for a modern patio is wood decking. A durable Brazilian hardwood that looks especially good in a contemporary setting would be Ipe.

Ipe wood is best known for being one of the hardest and strongest woods around. It is naturally resistant to things that would normally require pretreating, like abrasion, weather, and insects.

It is also resistant to dry rot, which is invaluable when you’re having your home evaluated or surveyed! Dry rot is one of the many things that decrease the value of your home.

Capable of lasting even about 75 years, Ipe is known for being able to withstand the test of time.

Have all narrow boards installed and running towards the same direction. Another wood material that can be used to bring modern style to your patio is deck tiles.

As long as the patio is level,  they can easily be snapped into place on top of an existing patio surface.

  1. Modern Garden Fencing

Here are a few fencing ideas for a more modernized-garden look.

  • Corten Steel

A popular choice for contemporary homes is Corten steel. It is ideal for certain challenging or hostile climates, such as deserts. These climates wouldn’t be suitable for your average wooden fence due to the low humidity levels and high winds. Corten steel is also attractive as it rusts to a natural brown colour.

  • Galvanized or powder-coated Sheet Steel

This type of sheet steel was initially developed to be used as skins on industrial buildings. In climates that test a traditional fences’ durability, this material can stand up to the conditions. It can even be used as a wind barrier in locations that would need one.

Also, since it was made for industrial buildings, security-wise, it is also efficient. This does not sacrifice your security for privacy. If there was a time you would audit your home for its security efficiency, you may check this off the list!

The Future is Bright!

Whether you’re the type to go and build a patio on a wooden deck or to deck-out your home with modernizations using tech and gadget-based enhancements, you’ll most likely be satisfied with yourself afterwards. Things are looking up, and times are changing fast. Get with the pace, or you might just get left behind!

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