Things to Know

10 Remodeling Hacks to Bring out the Best in Your Home

If you're thinking of remodeling, go over your home, room by room, and determine its best aesthetic and practical features. Keep in mind how long you plan to keep your home and what might appeal to future buyers.

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Here are 10 of the latest trends you might consider in order to make your home even more lovable. Generally, luxurious details are in. Not only are they smart and practical, they're also good investments for resale value.

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1. Paint, 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.

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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 appears 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.

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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.

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3. Light up the House - Consider creative lighting, including:

  • Spotlights to point at 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 fluorescent

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4. Transform Your Floors - Look under foot to refinish, re-carpet or re-tile. Wood floors can be bleached, pickled, stained or painted almost any color or made unique by installing ceramic tiles in the kitchen. You could also try a block of patterned wood (inside a wood border) in the center of a dining room or bedroom.

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5. Open Spaces and Clear Surfaces - Go with the minimalist trend. For things you want handy but not displayed, create storage places:

  • A window seat

  • Narrow shelves inside closet and cabinet doors

  • A 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

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6. Large Family Kitchens - 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 a 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.

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7. Luxurious Bathrooms - Make your privacy a pleasure. You might install light dimmers and thermostatically controlled mixer taps, extra mirrors, a solarium window or install a sunken bath set in a raised floor that houses the plumbing.

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8. Year-Round comfort - Utility bills can be lower when windows are installed with low-emission 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.

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9. Makeover the Garage - 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.

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10. Consider Safety and Convenience - Whatever alarm system you add to your basic smoke detector contributes to your peace of mind and security. Electronic smart devices can be installed to turn lights, appliances and heating/air conditioning off and on at pre-set times. Other smart security devices can warn of intrusion or announce a visitor. They can even remind you (in a synthesized voice) if you have an appointment coming up or if you're using too much electricity.

Home improvement possibilities are endless. If you're thinking of selling in the future, consider some of these upgrades to make your home more attractive to buyers.

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