Put Wasted Space To Work
Transform a plain wall into a storage and display showcase by adding stacks of open shelves or cutting out the drywall to create a recessed niche. Add a display shelf above the kitchen window and cup hooks below upper cabinets.
Add Function to an Awkward Space
Transform a basic bay or box window into a reading nook. Or furnish an empty corner of the living room with a game table and storage cabinet. These features add value to your home and, when it comes time to sell, will likely resonate with potential buyers.
Accentuate the Architecture
Use simple molding or trim to draw attention to existing features, such as a high ceiling, or an attractive view from a window. Beaded board paneling adds timeless appeal. Or dress up a ceiling-mounted light fixture with a medallion for a traditional, elegant look.
Add a Fireplace
“A fireplace adds ambience that can’t be attained any other way,” says Donna Freeman, real estate expert. It adds warmth and creates a focal point for the room. Dress up the firebox with a tasteful surround and a classic wood mantel. If you opt for a gas unit, upgrade to one with the most realistic-looking logs.
Install a Bay Window
“Changing a standard window to a bow or bay window makes a room feel larger, creates a focal point, and also lets in more light than a regular window,” says Linda Lenore, design expert. To call attention to the new window and add function to the room, consider adding a built-in window seat with a bench that opens for storage. The seat will be a cozy reading spot for you and an architectural point of interest for future buyers.
Replace Your Windows
You don’t have to put up with drafty rooms. Trade in older, energy-squandering windows for new high performance units that swing in for easy cleaning. Energy Star windows can cut your fuel bills by as much as $340 per year over drafty, single-pane units.
Refinish Wood Floors
“Refurbishing hardwood floors will enhance the look and the value of your home,” John A. MacDonald of Keller Williams Real Estate in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Just be ready for a few days of dust. If your floors are worn or stained, replacing them may be the better option. Consider splurging on wide-plank hardware floors in your foyer and living room, then scaling it back in the bedrooms.
Install New Lighting
You’ll be amazed by how well-placed pools of warm light can make your home inviting and user-friendly. Even inexperienced remodelers can easily install simple plug-in puck lights under kitchen cabinets, inside built-in hutches, or bookcases.
Upgrade your closets by installing rods on two levels for hanging shirts and pants and adding pullout bins for socks and undergarments. Increase storage in your kitchen cabinets by installing a spice rack or a lazy Susan in a corner cabinet.
Upgrade Your Foyer and Staircase
The entryway is the first thing visitors will see when they enter your home, so make sure it welcomes them in style. If you can’t change the whole space, concentrate on high-impact items. Splurge on the entry flooring, or focus on improving the staircase. Sand and re-stain treads, paint risers, and replace railings and newels. Check building codes regarding railing height and spindle spacing.