The principle of investments is quite simply to receive more output than you input. With homes typically being our largest investment, most of us are looking for ways to maximize this investment without going bankrupt in the process. Although we all have a home improvement to-do list, more often than not the associated costs keep us from tackling these projects. However, there are a number of affordable and manageable projects that can add significant impact, appeal, and value to your home with minimal effort.
PAINT We all know the extraordinary impact that painting a room can have. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams offer mobile apps featuring their color wheels to assist in choosing colors, as well as inspiration and professional advice through their stores. Beyond room color, consider painting the trim the same color as the room to give the illusion of higher ceilings. Another technique with a powerful impact, is to paint the trim and doors a darker color that coordinates with the walls, creating the allure of a custom built home. Painting kitchen or bathroom cabinets and trim transform a room in hours. Finally, don’t forget the front door. Some of the most instant curb appeal can be created simply by changing the color the front door. And maybe the shutters too.
FIXTURES & HARDWARE Replace outdated lighting fixtures with contemporary pieces or update with bronzed, black or pewter fixtures in traditional lines. Even replacing all the door handles in your home with new handles, including the front door can create an incredible, but timeless impact adding enormous value to your home. Replacing kitchen and bathroom faucets is another way to create instant appeal, and don’t forget the hardware. One of my resourceful girlfriends took some rather sad, outdated kitchen cabinet handles and spray painted them with a black, durable finish that looked striking against the newly painted green cabinets, transforming her kitchen for two buckets of paint and spray can.
TRIM One of the simplest and affordable ways to create big impact in your home’s interior is to improve the trim. Sometimes this might mean adding crown molding or replacing a base, unattractive trim for a more detailed trim. To create even more detail add an additional piece of molding four inches below the base of the crown molding. One of my favorite tricks to create the look of expensive trim is to use standard boards as baseboard and add penny trim on top.
DOOR Although doors can be expensive, there are multiple options for standard interior and exterior doors that are beyond the standard builder grade. French doors give any room the added allure of streaming sunshine and an open airy atmosphere. My personal favorite is the farm house door that used to be the standard in homes throughout the country. Due to the popularity of vintage pieces, manufacturers are beginning to offer a wider variety of standard doors, giving homeowners the ability to customize their home’s interior without the custom price tag. A unique front door will have every neighbor and passerby pausing to admire and leave you smiling every time you enter. In addition, don’t forget about re-purposing an old door into something new. Here is a link to a post on how to turn an old door into a headboard.
PROFESSIONAL For those women who have spent countless hours pouring over magazines and are still unable to decide what direction to take, it might be time to ask for help. Honestly, this is an extraordinary way to make the most impact for your dollar. For a day’s fee, a professional decorator can choose colors and fabrics for you, design a layout, or use your pieces in ways you never envisioned. In one day, these experts can transform the look and feel of your home or leave you with a detailed plan to tackling your home improvement projects. The effect they can have on a home in a day is one step short of miraculous and worth every penny.
Although each of these improvements and investments are small, they create a significant impact on your home’s value and more importantly on your enjoyment of your home.