Home renovation is the real life creative application of “I love it, but…”
“I love it, but the kitchen doesn’t have enough storage.”
“I love it, but I wish I had a separate space to work.”
“I love it, but it doesn’t feel like ME.”
And that’s all okay, because in most cases, you can do something about those concerns! Not everyone can afford to add an extra wing on their house for guest rooms, or add a second story, but there are a number of ways you can remodel your home to better fit your life without needing to hire a contractor.
Now that the days and sunlight are longer, starting some projects outside can help you make better use of your space.
Are you the type to daydream of barbecuing all winter long? Maybe it’s time to pave a patio for your grill. Or you can think bigger and look into some outdoor kitchen options.
With these warmer nights, are you the type to be drawn outside later and later? Consider updating your outdoor lighting. Solar lights around walkways, on decks, porches, and steps can let the parties continue past dusk and help you maneuver safely in the dark. Plus, a solar option cuts down on energy costs and upkeep.
Something as small as just updating the house numbers, mailbox or porch light fixtures can give your home a completely different look that makes it all your own. Different styles can show off more of your personality.
With the state of the world the past few years, more and more of us have been working (and schooling) from home. Having a space that works for your family to be productive is more important than ever.
While building an addition to be a home office is the dream, it’s not always feasible, so thinking outside the box it is! Buying a bigger wardrobe or swapping your nightstands for dressers can free up valuable real estate in a closet. A small closet can work as a home office with the right desk and shelf configuration, or if you have a walk-in closet with a door that can be shut, even better! When it’s after hours, you can just close it up and make the short commute home (to your living room).
Look for the highest traffic areas: maybe it’s the area by the garage door. A few strategic hooks and a storage bench can turn a hallway into a mudroom, where backpacks, coats, and shoes are easy to find.
For some, that clutter is in the kitchen. Installing pull-out drawers in bottom cabinets can make finding the right lid for your pot a breeze. Using baskets or bins to organize items of like size or similar use in the pantry makes it much easier to keep everything at hand. Maybe you don’t have an actual pantry. Creating a system to keep everything in order can make a huge difference, whether that be a combination of shelves with baskets, pull out drawers in a cabinet, or a lazy susan so you can spin to the right spices with one try, helping to take the stress from meal prep without having to knock out any walls. If you have the room for it, adding in a walk-in or butler pantry makes a world of difference.
In the days of smartphones, home robots and smart TVs, of course there are options to give you a “smart house.”
With endless updates available like an updated security system or a smart water heater, almost everything you own can be programmed to work wirelessly from your phone or other devices. Adding in smart outlets can allow you to turn on or off lights (even program them to a schedule!), fans, and electronics from anywhere, whether you are home or not. This can also help you take control of your utility bills as well.
Home renovation isn’t just about knocking down walls and putting up fences. Sometimes it’s about making your house highlight who you are a little better.
Adding in a gallery wall is a lovely way to highlight all those people, pets, and moments that are important to you. You can even have each family member make a shadowbox of their favorite things to hang alongside family photos.
If personal expression can’t be limited to the one-time use of a shadowbox, a chalkboard wall might be the way to go. Things like a calendar, to-do list, or menu can be posted even make it functional, not just fun. The added bonus of being a place for kids to display their artistic ability is a bonus, especially on days too rainy for sidewalk chalk.
Another way to renovate is to replace or refurbish your light fixtures. Maybe exchange a chandelier for a ceiling fan for better air circulation, or spray paint the flush mount fixtures with a metallic finish or bright colored paint for a pop.
While you are at it, consider painting or wallpapering the walls or ceiling to add even more personalization. Wallpaper is no longer the arduous experience with only fuddy duddy options. New styles, prints, and textures (even temporary peel and stick!) make wallpapering easier to hang and remove, with way more trendy options than the traditional styles of the past. And, yes, one trend is to wallpaper the ceiling. Talk about making a statement!
Enjoy the month of May, Home Remodeling Month, and don’t worry about breaking the bank. Making even the smallest changes in your home can make a big difference.