In honor of February, the month of love, I thought I’d cover love from a different angle… Your love for your home. One of our main mantras here at The Goodhart Group is helping our clients and community Love Where You Live, and we take it seriously.
Recently, my husband and I made some improvements around our house – some big and some small – that really have made me fall in love with our house all over again. Many of these are incredibly easy changes that you can do in a weekend. Here are my tips for falling in love with your home and rekindling that old flame!
The first step is to take a step back and pretend you are looking at your house for the first time. What do you love? What makes you cringe? There will be several things that jump right out at you that have probably bothered you for a while, but look deeper. Go through your home room by room and around the outside of your house completing this exercise taking notes along the way.
Take a look at the following in each room or space.
LET THE LIGHT IN
- Consider the lighting. This is one of the most overlooked features in a house that can make such a big difference. Consider the following questions:
- How is the natural light? Think about if you should you change your window treatments to let more light in or to warm up the space. We added floor to ceiling curtains in our master bedroom, guest room which was pretty sparse and in our family room to make the space more interesting. It completely warmed up the spaces, but especially made a difference in the family room, which is now my favorite space in the house.
- Do you need more lighting? Do you need to add or move the overhead lighting? This is one of the biggest changes we made that helped us love where we live just a little bit more. As we were transitioning our office – that we never used due to the lighting problem – to a nursery, we struggled with how to make it feel more homey. Turns out, all we needed to do was add a light fixture and that’s an easy fix! We had a contractor come by and add the light and it feels already like a completely different room.
- If you have a light fixture, is it dated? One of the first things we did when we purchased our house was replace the lighting fixtures which immediately made the house seem more updated and more our style. You don’t need a big budget for this either. We found fun fixtures at Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn, Shades of Light, Home Depot and Wayfair for very reasonable prices. You would be surprised at how much switching a light fixture can change the entire feel of your home.
In the photo below, you can see how much of a difference changing a light fixture, curtains and a coat of paint can make!
THE POWER OF PAINT
- Don’t underestimate the power of paint. Yes, this one is obvious, but it makes such a big difference I can’t leave it off the list. Think about the following:
- Changing the Color Completely – One of the least expensive ways to change the personality and feel of a room is to re-paint the walls or the trim a new color.
- Touch-Up your Current Paint – Even if you aren’t going to completely repaint, go through each room and see where you need to touch up any scuff marks or scratches.
- Think Past the Walls – In our latest round of updates, we decided we would be much happier with our house if we updated our kitchen. Our kitchen was already updated and in good shape, but just not particularly to our tastes. So, we decided to get creative! We ended up having our kitchen cabinets painted white and even painted the tile floor a deep gray. It sounds crazy, but it worked! We put in new counters and a backsplash that was fresh and bright. We were able to completely change the kitchen for a very reasonable amount. I can’t tell you how happy this renovation made me! See before and after photos below.
ADD SOME WARMTH
- Warm Up the Room. Look at your decor and see what could be improved. Again, some basic things can make all the difference.
- Add or Change Throw Pillows or Blankets – Pretty self explanatory, but think about adding in some new pillows or throws or putting a new cover on them to go with the season. We added some faux fur throws in a few rooms of our house for winter. Much cozier
- Look at your walls. Does the art you have on your walls really go with your furniture? Could you add more to the space – or should you pare down? When you’re selling, “less is more,” however, adding art or mirrors is the right move for your personal enjoyment. We had some art in our attic that we had picked up on trips that we not yet framed. We moved some of our more traditional art into to the bedrooms and replaced them with more modern art and mirrors to go with our transitional style. Replacing some old brass candlesticks in the dining room with some clear glass pedestal candle holders also made a huge difference. The result was a total transformation – and we only had to buy one mirror and some candlesticks! The rest was re-shuffling what we already had.
- Furniture. Do you need new furniture to make the room work or look better for you or your family?
- Hardware. I never knew how much fun a trip to the hardware store could be. Look at the drawer and cabinet pulls in your kitchen, bathrooms and even your furniture. Pulls are typically less than a dollar each and you can replace them yourselves. This is an easy and cheap fix that can update a room. We decided the pulls in our bathrooms were all fine, but updating the pulls in our kitchen and replacing some of our door knobs with crystal knobs would work well. Again, small changes we did ourselves that look fantastic.
- Plan for bigger projects. Of course, you will probably come up with some projects that you can’t do on your own – and that’s okay. These projects might require more planning and saving but make a list now!
In the photo below, we opened up a wall to the hallway in order to create a walk-in closet (see left side of after photo). Easy fix, huge improvement!
THE BOTTOM LINE
Before doing any work, consider if the project is something that will truly add value to the home, or is something you will have personal enjoyment from but might be too specific for another buyer down the line. One example of this is adding picture moldings at our house. We decided to add these throughout our lower level and our upstairs hallways, knowing it is an upgrade that wouldn’t be easy to quantify in terms of return on investment. However, it looked great in our neighbors’ house and we decided to go for it. It looks fantastic and adds a more finished feel to the house. You can see the before and after of adding moldings on the bottom below.
As I mentioned above, we decided we also really wanted to update our kitchen counters and backsplash, even though the kitchen was already updated. Will we see a return from that change? Maybe. Probably. But it’s not a sure thing since the kitchen was already updated. But, will we be happier in our house and able to stay longer thus saving money in the long run? Definitely. To us it was worth it, and I’m happy every day we made the change.
Just remember, your home is not only your biggest financial investment, it’s also where you make memories with family and friends. It is where you find solace after a long day. That’s why it’s so important that you love where you live.
If you have questions about which projects make sense for you or are most cost effective, or if we can help with any real estate needs, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to help!
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