A home is often a family’s single largest asset, so making investments with upgrades and home improvements is almost always a good idea. However, knowing when and where to make those improvements isn’t necessarily a simple decision. Budget and space most often dictate the direction, but keeping function and your lifestyle needs in mind can help create a space that makes for an all-around smart investment.
Home Upgrades that Make ‘Cents’
Improvements to boost your home’s value and enjoyment
(Family Features) A home is often a family’s single largest asset, so making investments with upgrades and home improvements is almost always a good idea. However, knowing when and where to make those improvements isn’t necessarily a simple decision. Budget and space most often dictate the direction, but keeping function and your lifestyle needs in mind can help create a space that makes for an all-around smart investment.
For expanded control over the amount of light and warmth that enters or leaves your rooms, solar-powered skylight blinds are available in more than 100 designer colors and patterns. Like the skylights, Velux solar-powered blinds are operated with the remote. The solar products and installation costs are also eligible for a 30-percent federal tax credit. Learn more at whyskylights.com.
Finish the basement.
A basement is the perfect location for expanded room to live and entertain, and if you have egress or other windows, adding extra bedrooms may also be an option. When making plans for finishing a basement, keep function first. Adding features like bathrooms can be costly if the plumbing isn’t already in place, but having ready access to those facilities may pay off if you plan to spend lots of time downstairs. Also keep climate in mind; in many parts of the country basements tend to be damp, so be sure to use materials that can withstand the conditions during the rainy season.
Create outdoor living space for all year long.
This is another area where climate will play an important role in your plans; adding a well-constructed enclosure to a patio can make it usable during all but the coldest months, while a pergola or other shading can lend necessary relief to an area that bakes in the summer sun. Aside from the hardscaping, look at other ways to soften your outdoor space and enhance livability, such as functional shade trees and flowering vegetation that attract birds and butterflies.
Add curb appeal.
Choose the Right Skylight
Just because you rent or live in small quarters doesn’t mean you can’t have ample storage space. It means you just have to be a bit more creative in figuring out where to put things, even when it seems hopeless to get a handle on organization and clutter under control.
Stylish Storage for Renters
(Family Features) Just because you rent or live in small quarters doesn’t mean you can’t have ample storage space. It means you just have to be a bit more creative in figuring out where to put things, even when it seems hopeless to get a handle on organization and clutter under control.
The first rule is to purge and keep only what you need or simply love. It’s a good idea to review your possessions at least every six months to filter out any items that have lost their luster or accumulated over time. Of course, you can make this chore easier by disciplining yourself to be vigilant about not bringing unnecessary things into your living space.
However, even with the most diligent effort, you’ll still have essentials and other items you can’t or won’t part with. That’s where creativity can make it easier to find ample storage space.
Seek inspiration. Search online for solutions to everyday storage problems, as sites like Pinterest and Houzz can be great resources. Pinterest reports that 93 percent of its users shop the platform for new ideas and 87 percent have made purchases based on things they have seen on the site. Organizational issues, especially small or non-existent closet space, are common and many creative solutions, such as using non-traditional means to store seasonal items like clothes outside of the bedroom, can be found online.
Embrace unique ideas. Typical storage places and containers are obvious choices, but you can also maximize your usable space with functional and fashionable furniture that doubles as great storage. For example, ClosetMaid’s Storage Furniture and Bookcases are stylish options that fit virtually any decor. They’re sturdy enough to store books and keepsakes, and work well paired with fabric drawers and wire bins.
Think vertically. It may not be your first consideration, but your wall space offers plenty of opportunity to add storage. You can even create a closet along a wall. Invest in an armoire or a closet system that works inside or outside the closet, but remember since they may have to be installed or secured to the wall, you might want to check with your landlord first. Don’t forget about closet racks; they work wonders. Opt for interesting shelving that allows you to showcase your favorite belongings and tuck other things away in colorful containers that add to the overall theme of your design.
No matter your decorative style or size of your residence, there are plenty of options to make the most of your space so you can find a home for everything. Find more creative storage solutions at ClosetMaid.com.SOURCE:
(BPT) - During the 1950s, the average-sized American home was just around 1,700 square feet. Fast forward to today, and the average size has increased to about 2,600 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While many Americans think the bigger the better, there is a growing trend of homeowners around the country opting to downsize to tiny homes, condominiums, apartments or just smaller single-family homes.
Deciding to scale down is driven by many reasons — the quest for less maintenance, parents recently becoming empty nesters, an increase in the cost of living or simply looking to live a greener lifestyle. However, having less square footage doesn’t need to mean skimping on style or function.
If you are planning on downsizing, here are four tips for thoughtful small space home design.
1. Think durable material that can handle double duty.
As people continue to downsize, it is important to maximize space by having rooms work double duty. If your home isn’t large enough to accommodate an eating area and an office, have your kitchen island work as both.
To keep up with daily wear, such as sliding pots and pans, plates, spills and more, look to a high performance countertop such as Neolith. This material is scratch, heat and stain-resistant. It’s also non-porous and hygienic, so there’s no need to worry about cross-contamination on office papers by day and food by night.
2. Less is more.
According to popular belief, it is better to fill a space with several small pieces of furniture. However, design savvy professionals and homeowners are turning this idea on its head by using fewer, yet larger pieces to furnish living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. By doing so, this creates an optical illusion of space and adds a designer’s touch.
3. Make a statement.
When designing a small space like a bathroom, thoughtfully selected wall colors can make a huge difference. To really make a statement, think beyond paint with unexpected textures, designs and materials such as Neolith sintered stone in the La Boheme design. This decor is an accurate interpretation of Lebanese-inspired cedar that adds visual interest and is much easier to maintain than its natural counterpart.
Finish off the look with oversized art, large mirrors to bounce light around the room, a floating sink and toilet, and open shower to pack a punch in a small space.
4. Bring only what you love.
It may seem obvious, but when moving or scaling back on your next home, be sure to take an inventory of everything you own, and only bring items that make you happy. Without the extra storage space larger homes afford, downsizing is a great opportunity to really ask yourself, “Do I love this and do I need it?” When you have only the possessions you love surrounding you in your new space, it will automatically feel bigger.
To start your small space project, experiment with different styles and colors through online design tools, like the visualizer on www.neolith.com. While smaller rooms demand creative thinking and individuality, quality design is well within reach.
Interested in Publishing on The Home Idea?
Send your query to the Publisher today!