Ingenious Ways to Remodel With Beauty and the Best
impulse to renew and rejoice is in the air. One of the best ways to
indulge this holiday feeling is to do or plan wonderful things for
your home. What does your home need to bring out its beauty and its
best value? Not mundane repair items, but those touches that showcase
your home's worth, enhance its beauty, improve its comfort and safety--things
that carry enchantment far beyond one festive season.
Go over your
home, room by room, with an eye to what's best in aesthetic and
practical value. Keep in mind how long you plan to keep your home
and what might appeal to future buyers.
Here are some
of the latest trends you might consider to make the home you love
even more lovable. Generally, luxurious details are in. Not only
are they smart and practical, they're also sure-fire investments
for bringing you top dollar on resale.
panel or paper
Keep in mind, light colors make rooms look larger, dark colors smaller
(cozier). If you like soft colors (pale pinks, greens, blues, yellows),
they're ideal for enlarging small rooms. Perk them up with accents
in deeper tones or with interesting textures (such as sponging some
walls or adding sisal).
If you like
a touch of the dramatic, paint a door in primary colors or add a
"fool the eye" scene (such as a landscape that seems to
be seen through glass). Don't be afraid to put reds and pinks together,
or blues and greens. For real drama, add white trim to deep colors.
Remember, if you're thinking of selling your home soon--neutral
tones are "safer." Splash color around using upholstery,
throw pillows, artwork and other furnishings.
2. Give small
rooms extra dimension
Put in floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Place one at right angles to a
corner window to bring in the outdoors. Mirrors at different angles
create a patchwork of repeated patterns that can be interesting,
light reflecting and fun.
Light up the house
Consider creative lighting, including:
Spotlights to point up art work
Track lights to illuminate bookshelves
Indirect lights or decorative wall sconces wherever shadows
are too deep
Under-counter lights in kitchens and workshops
Using incandescent or halogen lighting, which is warmer than
Look under foot to refinish, recarpet or retile. Wood floors can
be bleached, pickled, stained, painted almost any color or made
unique by installing ceramic tiles in the kitchen, or a block of
patterned wood (inside a wood border) in the center of a dining
room or bedroom.
5. Open spaces
and clear surfaces
Go with the trend of fewer furnishings and belongings in view. For
things you want handy but not displayed, create storage places:
A window seat
Narrow shelves inside closet and cabinet doors
A tip-down triangular tray (for brushes, sponges, etc.) built
into the cabinet at the front of the kitchen sink
A wall system with cubes of different sizes, some with shelves,
some with drawers
A "Murphy" bed that folds into the wall
Top-grade is the trend in appliances, including microwave ovens,
disposals and compactors, work islands that sport stainless steel
double sinks or a down-vented stove, plus side bookshelves or lift-up
table top. The dining end of the kitchen might be equipped with
comfortable chairs, a desk, or book shelves. A fireplace turns the
kitchen into a homey family room where everyone lingers.
Make your privacy a pleasure. You might install light dimmers and
thermostatically controlled mixer taps, extra mirrors, a solarium
window, or create a sunken bath set in a raised floor that houses
Utility bills can be lower when windows are installed with low-emissity
glass (gas filling between panes) that can be twice as efficient
as double-glazed windows. They reflect heat, keeping your home cooler
in summer and warmer in winter. An invisible coating also blocks
ultraviolet light and protects furnishings.
possibilities are endless. But if your home can't accommodate your
dreams--with neither love nor money--remember there are homes in the
area that will. When you're ready to explore the possibilities, we're
here to help make your dreams come true.
The car park may not be the most beautiful part of your home, but
it may be the most useful space you have--if it's soundly built,
clean, well organized and uncluttered. A garage can double as a
workshop, garden house or playground. An automatic door opener is
the warmest welcome in wet or cold weather.
10. Consider safety and convenience
Whatever alarm system you add to your basic smoke detector contributes
to your peace and security. Electronic "smart" devices
can be installed to turn lights, appliances and heating/air conditioning
off and on at pre-set times, to warn of intrusion or announce a
visitor, to remind you (in a synthesized voice) when you're due
at an appointment or when you're using too much electricity.