8 January 2024
New Year’s Eve marks the time-honored tradition of making resolutions for a better year ahead. So, while we all try to keep our personal resolutions for at least two months, why not make some resolutions to make your home more comfortable or even more attractive to buyers? Home improvement resolutions might be easier to stick to than giving up caffeine.
Let’s start outside, shall we. After all, it is the first impression guests will have of your home. You don’t need a green thumb to maintain eye-catching landscaping. There are many plants and shrubs that require little maintenance that even those of us who struggle keeping a succulent alive can manage to care for.
Speaking of succulents, let’s start with a plant that requires virtually zero maintenance. Hen and chicks. You plant it, then leave it. It’s that simple. It can be planted in containers or rock gardens and holds up to both summer droughts and sub-zero winters. Hen and chicks are great for new gardeners who might not have the time to stick to a strict watering schedule.
If you want to add flowers that you only have to plant once, give perennials a try. Perennials grow and bloom for multiple years which means that they won’t have to be replanted each season. To add greenery to your landscaping, try hostas. These shade-loving plants can attract hummingbirds to your garden when their lavender or white flowers bloom.
Ready to dip your toes into yearly gardening? Low-maintenance annuals, like zinnias, offer pops of color and are easy enough to care for that most gardeners don’t mind replanting them each year. They are also a great staple for any pollinator garden as they attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects.
Simple, cost-effective “micro-renovations” can help you improve the value of your home. A good place to start with interior renovations is to get rid of features that may date your home. The most notorious décor style that can scream “dated” is the popcorn ceiling. While popcorn goes great with a Netflix marathon, people don’t much care for it on their ceilings.
Embrace the power of paint. A fresh coat of paint can transform any room in your home. You can pick up a gallon of paint for $15 to $30 and one gallon covers about 350 to 400 square feet. If you have some areas that look like they might be hard to cover (discoloration, marker, etc.) try a coat of primer before you put your final color on the wall.
You can also use paint to update the cabinets in your home. From the kitchen to the bathroom, painting your cabinets in a neutral tone will help modernize the rooms. Neutrals will also make it easier for the next homeowner to incorporate their own style.
While you’re at it, update the hardware on cabinet doors and drawers. Finishes like stainless steel and brushed nickel are timeless and will look great in any room. Matte black pulls can add a more contemporary finish to your cabinetry. A bit of friendly advice, when changing your cabinet hardware, try to match the finish to your faucet for a more cohesive look.
Want to refresh your home but “micro-renos” aren’t in your budget? No worries. Here are my wallet-friendly home improvements to give your home a free-fresh.
The way you arrange your furniture can change the entire flow of a room; start by showcasing a focal point. This can be an existing focal point, like a fireplace, or you can create one with a gallery wall or television.
Creating symmetry is another way to spruce up a room. Our eyes are drawn to symmetry, so if you have doubles of anything (lamps, vases, etc.) use them to balance your room. To make life easier, draw out how you want your room to look before actually moving your furniture. Your back, and friends, will thank you later.
Clean your rooms. Rooms do look better when they are organized. This one might take a little extra elbow grease, but it’s worth it in the long run, and can even come in handy if you’re getting ready to move.
Start with one room at a time and take everything off of shelves and out of drawers so that you can have a fresh look at everything. Also, by taking everything out of its place, you can decide if each item is a keeper or something that you can part with. Part of getting organized means letting go of some clutter. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to organize so take breaks and remember, things always look messier before they look cleaner.
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