Everyone wants their own home to be a pleasant place to live, with amenities that please the eye and make life easier. Whether you're renting or buying, there are inexpensive ways to make your home more attractive and livable.
Real estate expert John Adams has more:
Question: John, are we looking at making major changes or spending a lot of money? Because many of us are stretched already.
Adams: No, not at all. There are plenty of things we all can do to make our house or apartment more attractive and livable, while NOT spending more than a few bucks here and there.
I’ve put together a top 10 list of my favorites. Here are a few easy ways to make your home more attractive and livable:
1. Fix the Little Things.
Think about minor stuff that drives you crazy. The faucet that constantly leaks, the front door that you have to slam to close properly, the ceiling far that wobbles and makes too much noise - these are all minor repairs that a handy man can fix in half an hour or less. And YOU can learn to DO IT YOURSELF at most BIG BOX Home Centers for free!
2. Clean Up and Keep It That Way.
This is so simple yet so profound. A messy room is depressing to be in, while a neat room is a delight to the eye and the senses. There is no reason to keep a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes for long enough to draw fruit flies, but when it happens, it’s just gross. Get in the habit of having a weekly cleaning day.
Most of us hold on to WAY too much stuff, and no matter how much space you have, eventually, the stuff will expand to fill the space allotted, and you’ll begin to feel crowded, which is really unpleasant. If you don’t absolutely, positively need to have it in the room it is in, find an out of the way place to store it. Or better yet, THROW IT OUT!
4. Paint. Everywhere.
If you haven’t undertaken a paint project in the past few years, you are in for a shock. Today’s premium paint is super easy to use, does a great job, is very durable, and cleans easily if scuffed or marked. It’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way.
Think bright cheerful color to brighten up a less than bright room, and plan on doing it yourself. It’s a LOT easier than it was just a few years ago.
5. Brighten things UP!
Go through your house or apartment and ask “where can I upgrade the lighting and get the maximum bang for the buck?
Begin with the kitchen, and replace the existing overhead with a 48” 4 bulb fluorescent fixture. This is a small project that will yield big results. Then go to your baths and replace the medicine cabinet with a 3x6 foot beveled glass mirror and replace the light over the sink with an 8 bulb strip outlet.
Instantly, your bath feels twice as large and five times as bright! Don’t forget a dimmer on the lights or you’ll get sun-burned!
6. While we’re in the bath, let’s refinish the tub or the surrounding tile.
For less than forty bucks, you can buy a tub refinishing kit that will make your old tub or tile wall look new again fast. If you like white, and who doesn’t, it’s a quick way to solve an old problem.
7. Think about CURB APPEAL.
If you are in a house, your front entryway is where visitors get their first impression of your abode.
Paint the front door a bold color, install a brass kickplate, add brass numbers, paint the railing, and buy a pot or two of bright flowers from time to time.
8. If you’re in an apartment, consider paying to replace the entry doors altogether.
If they’re old, they probably offer little or no security, and their visual appearance does nothing to enhance your home experience.
New doors can provide a fresh look, and at the same time, provide a major enhancement to security. Make sure to check with your landlord first.
9. Get creative with storage space.
Most folks waste a tremendous amount of storage by failing to go vertical! Plan a floor to ceiling set of wall brackets with 8” shelves every 12 to 18 inches. Buy a foldable step-ladder to reach upper levels. Don’t give up an inch of storage!
10. Replace kitchen drawer knobs and cabinet knobs with a new style.
This is a surprisingly inexpensive way to give your kitchen a fresh new look. And it’s so easy to do. Get online and shop for inexpensive replacement hardware.