Ten Ingenious Ways to Remodel With Beauty and the Best

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.

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). 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.

3. 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 fluorescent

4. Transform your floors
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

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 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.

7. Luxurious bathrooms
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 the plumbing.

8. Year-round comfort
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.

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.

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. Home improvement 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.

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