We all have a wish list for our homes. Last week I shared my search for inspiration for small changes in my living room. I find that I do best by planning changes over months to even a year or two. I have to plan and budget for big ticket items. Sometimes I see a small need and try to find a solution in a shorter time line. I think of it as part of home maintenance. Below the addition of the bar adds so much storage space to the kitchen.
One big example of home maintenance is dealing with paint on the walls. Changing the color of the walls is the simplest way to have a big impact making them feel fresher and more modern, especially if you go for light, bright colors like white, cream, and pretty pastels. You can easily buy enough paint to cover most rooms for $150 or less, but the transformation will look way more expensive than that, so if you do nothing else, repaint once in a while.
If you love the color you have, take a hard look at all the high traffic areas for paint problems like gouges, scratches, or dirt. It can be a gradual change that you don’t notice. I find that periodically using a wet magic eraser on bad spots can make a big difference. Several years ago I thought I needed to touch up the paint behind framed wall art. I had changed the art several times and the paint was marred. It was suggested that I should try a magic eraser first. After using the eraser, the paint looked great. The wall didn’t need painting but just cleaning with the right product. For gouges and scratches, I patch the surface and paint. Touch-up paint can make a big difference without painting the whole room.
A second example of decor home maintenance is small updates in the two most expensive areas to renovate: the bathroom and the kitchen. If you are like me, you don’t have the budget to renovate a bathroom or a kitchen.
Small Home Projects
The kitchen is considered the heart of the home. Besides de-cluttering and re-organizing equipment and long term food storage, my goal is to develop a well-designed kitchen. Small changes I’ve made in the last few years in my kitchen include re-organizing the cabinets and re-doing the pantry lay-out which included adding a shelf and electricity for my microwave. I don’t like the microwave over the stove as it gets so greasy and dirty. I don’t want it on the counter either. The modern trend in kitchen design is to put small equipment in pull-out drawers. That dream of renovating the kitchen is out of my budget, but I love that I can keep the pantry sliding door shut with the microwave out of sight when I’m not using it.
An affordable way to improve the appearance of your kitchen is by removing the old handles and replacing them with something a bit more modern and pretty. Crystal handles are always pretty, but any stylized handles that match your kitchen and serve to enhance it, are good. So, shop around and see what you can find. Make small updates like replacing old light fixtures, changing the handles, or painting the walls can also give your bathroom a fresh, new look.
Beautiful light fixtures can go a long way in energizing or soothing a space. Whether you need a good reading light or ambiance lighting, there are so many new designs at affordable prices. No matter your design choice, a new light fixture can make a huge change in any room.
Maintaining the exterior of your home gives it curb appeal and can increase it’s value. If your home’s exterior requires a facelift, start with the landscaping. Removing or cutting back overgrown shrubs and trees is vital. If you can’t see your home from the street, you’re making a big mistake. No landscaping at all? Add a few evergreen bushes and keep it simple if you are not a gardener.
Some home improvements mean big bucks; other changes can be made on a small budget. The smart home owners learn what is doable, plan, and make the little changes as they are able. Big projects may require saving money for a few years to pay for the updates. Two of the most expensive changes outside are re-placing the roof and painting the exterior. Painting your home is a DIY for many home owners like my neighbor. He rented spray painting equipment and with his brother’s help, they re-painted his home over a long weekend.
If you plan to live in your home for many years, many home owners choose to add siding for easier maintenance. First do research online for the different kinds of siding and its expected life. Siding is usually installed by a siding company. Get at least 3 bids and references from the professionals to make your decision.
A major component of maintaining a house is replacing the roof before you have interior damage from leaks. I am lucky to have a professional roofing company that I call periodically for roof issues. My real estate agent had referred them when I did my home inspection before closing. They were professional, reliable, and did not try to talk me into a new roof before it was necessary. When it was time to replace my roof, my roofer helped me choose material and style. We discussed types of roofs and the pros and cons of each.
Small changes can have a great impact on your home. Plan your changes and budget for big ticket items. Small changes can make your home more functional and pretty.
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