More and more Americans are spending an increased amount of time at home. Between “boomerang” kids, who return home after going away to college, and elderly parents moving in with their children for care and assisted living, more people are looking to optimize the space in which they live. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when it comes time to roll out the blueprints and break ground.
1. Add value to your home In this economy, many people fear their homes are decreasing in value. Before attacking a remodeling project, get your home appraised so that you can see what your home is worth and make a plan on how to increase its value. Maybe placing a wall through a large room to make two smaller rooms is best, or maybe turning that walk-in closet into an office makes more sense.
2. Fit specific family member needs Every member of the family has their own wants, needs and desires. Why not make spaces throughout the home that cater to certain likes? Some recent trends in remodeling include adding hobby-centric spaces like libraries, wine cellars, pet rooms, green houses and game rooms.
3. The right colors Using cool, calming colors is a great way to create a sense of tranquility throughout the home. The most popular colors in remodeling now are neutral tones for large open spaces and smoky or muted reds and greens for accents and flair. Neutral tones help make a space feel bigger and are less distracting.
4. Let your home reflect your lifestyle or a change in it Take the old nursery and turn it into an office or game room. Whatever you’ve taken up—yoga, meditation, cooking—let the home reflect it. When there are changes in a lifestyle it is important to let the home reflect and nurture those changes. Even something as simple as a new carpet can help.
5. Kitchens are the epicenter of the house The kitchen was once a place regarded for meal preparing only. Now, it is the epicenter of the home and often sees the most family traffic. New trends have added more comfortable seating, televisions and desks to kitchens. The most popular trend in the cooking space is stainless steel appliances.
6. Bring the hotel bathroom home Luxurious bathrooms have become a part of the home, rather than only a part of a vacation getaway. Homeowners have been making simple changes like installing overhead rain showerheads. Heated tiled floors in the bathroom are another way to improve the space and make it more luxurious. The most inexpensive of bathroom remodels is cement flooring. Cement flooring is often less than $1 per square foot, easy to clean and doesn’t wear away like tile flooring.
7. Solar energy Homeowners used to shy away from solar energy because it was big, bulky and unattractive to the eye. Advancements have led to new solar panel systems that are more discrete and create more than enough power to supply the home. Using solar power saves money and the environment.
8. Reuse When in doubt, reuse. When replacing a kitchen countertop, reuse the old one—put it in the laundry room or craft room. Instead of throwing out furniture, move it around within the home. By taking an end table or coffee table and swapping it into another room, you can change the appearance for nothing.
9. Throw the carpets away Bare floors, like wood and tile, are easier to keep clean and collect less dust, allergens and bacteria. Therefore, a cleaner home has healthier people living in it.
10. DIY, When You Can Before hiring someone to do the work for you, see if you can do it yourself. When it comes to something as simple as painting a room, there is no need to hire a painter. By cutting out the cost of hiring someone, simpler and smaller projects become more manageable and affordable. When it does come time to hire outside help, try opting for pay-as-you-go and with cash. That way when the end of a year-long remodel comes to a close, the homeowner isn’t faced with a bill that is intimidating and impossible to pay.