In the past year and a half, those home projects you’ve been putting off have probably gone to the top of your to-do list. If you’ve been spending more time at home than ever before, you may have noticed the bathroom fixtures that need updating, or the living room color scheme needs some pizazz or it’s finally time to do something about those outdated kitchen cupboards.
You’re not alone if you’re ready to tackle some home improvement projects. One survey found that 76% of the respondents completed at least one renovation project in 2020, during the pandemic. And not every project requires major effort—or major budgets. You can make strategic improvements that change the look of your home without a lot of time, toil or money. And with the Internet’s design resources, there’s plenty of inspiration at your fingertips. So perhaps the first question is: Where do you start?
Get Your Project Off to a Great Start
A little advance planning will help any redesign go smoothly. Here are some things to do before you get started:
- Make a list.
Go from room to room and make a wish list of all your projects. This will help you prioritize what to do first. A bathroom remodel that needs repairs, for instance, may be more important to tackle than refreshing the interior design of your living room.
- Be realistic about your time and money.
As you review your list, consider your budget and the time you want to devote to the project. A kitchen remodel may sound enticing, but eating takeout for a month because you can’t cook while the work is underway may not be as appealing. This will also help narrow down your choices. And when you’re crunching the numbers, don’t forget to factor in a cushion for cost overruns, usually about 10% of the budget total.
- Decide who’s going to do the work.
Updating home décor can be a simple DIY project that expresses your creativity. For large-scale or time-consuming jobs, you may want to hire a contractor who can manage all the details. Don’t hesitate to interview several contractors to get a variety of bid options. You may also settle on a hybrid—you’ll refinish your kitchen cabinets, but let a pro handle the installation of your new quartz countertops. Make sure that any third party you work with clearly outlines in writing the project costs and timeline.
- Be in the know on the latest trends.
You want to stay current and contemporary if you’re taking the time to give your interior design a fresh, new look. Look up the top interior design trends of 2021 and see how you can incorporate your favorite ones in your home.
Exciting New Ways to Improve Your Home
1. Make your home smarter.
Home technology is an exciting field that continues to innovate. This is a perfect time to take your “smart home” to the next level. It can be something practical, like a smart thermometer, or something that offers luxury along with convenience, such as a refrigerator with a built-in screen where you can pull up a recipe or order groceries. Another exciting place to add high tech is the bathroom. Try amenities such as warming drawers for towels, touch-free toilets or programmable showers.
2. Focus on areas of maximum impact.
Speaking of the bathroom, a remodel to a guest bath can transform your home, and add a wow factor for visitors. Go all out and get a custom bathroom remodel that perfectly captures your design vision. Other high-trafficked areas to focus on: the kitchen, the family room and the front entryway.
3. Cook up a new look for the kitchen.
Most people imagine a big demo job when they think about a kitchen remodel. And it can be that, but there are other options that make a significant difference. Kitchen cabinet updates are seamless when you add new hardware and a fresh coat of paint. Upgraded appliances, different flooring, or stylish lighting can also add value, and these are the types of projects that can adapt to any budget.
4. Adopt a more modern interior design style.
Maybe you’ve lived for so long with a particular design style that it’s become stale, and not a true expression of your taste anymore. Switch out the stately dark wood furniture and floral patterns of traditional design and lighten your spaces with minimalism’s neutral color palette and blond woods. French country style offers a classic romanticism, but now you prefer the sleek edges and metallics of industrialism. Can’t decide on a style? Try bohemian chic, which combines vibrant colors and patterns with rattan, plants and other natural accents as well as personal objects and heirlooms for a unique aesthetic statement.
5. Give your spaces the spotlight.
Whatever your project, make it even more special with the thoughtful use of lighting. The strategic placement of various types of lights makes a room warm and inviting, and it also creates an airy, spacious feeling that makes a room appear larger. Cast a flattering glow with hanging light fixtures such as a chandelier or pendant, and add extra illumination with wall sconces. Place striking table lamps in areas where you want to bring light to dark, cramped corners or create a visual focal point. For instance, a lamp on a table in front of a large mirror helps reflect light throughout a space and makes for an elegant grouping.
6. Add luxury and comfort.
You want your home to be a sanctuary, a place where you feel safe and surrounded by the people and possessions most precious to you. Treat yourself to something you’ve always wanted. That could mean a new king-size bed outfitted with delightfully soft linens, It could be a backyard makeover, complete with a fragrant garden and space for outdoor entertaining. Or you might want to purchase a comfortable new sectional with throw pillows in sumptuous textiles. Find the things that bring happiness and joy to your environment.
Don’t wait to renovate. Find the projects (or projects) that will give your spaces new life. Just remember that the goal with any project is that it should make you feel at home.
About the Author: Alan Weiner is COO of Elegant Strand and an expert in the luxury home décor space who works with many interior designers in their trade program to incorporate designer bedding and décor throughout Florida and the US.
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