Small Changes, Big Differences: 5 Low-Cost Ways to Give Your Home a New Look!

There are a lot of advantages to home improvement changes. They can make your space feel more modern, larger, and increase its value. And the good news is you don’t have to be an expert handyman (or handywoman) to make easy and simple alterations. Here’s how to better the look and feel of your home.

Living Room

1. Install new handles and door knobs: Buy new handles for your cabinets and drawers when you’re changing the style of a room. Get a modern feel by adding steel handles, or achieve shabby-chic comfort with bright colors that contrast classic wood doors and cabinets. Though old-fashioned, using a faux-crystal option will create a delicate look in a room.

2. Replace old light bulbs or add light fixtures: If the light in a room is looking dim, try stronger wattage bulbs (within the safety limitations listed on your lamp or light fixture). Floor lamps will also help achieve a brighter effect. Don’t rely on decorative desk lamps to drastically improve the brightness of a room, though they can enhance the mood and decor.

3. Paint the front door: It’s recommended that you repaint your front door every 4-6 years. (Pree’s Professional Painting) Whether it’s a neutral or bold color, if you give a door a new look, it can change the outlook you have on the rest of the house.

4. Polish floors: A weekly sweeping of your hardwood floors isn’t enough. Polish your floors every three months with a urethane-based polish, which creates a protective layer against small scratches.

5. Paint an accent walls: This design technique draws the eye to one wall instead of the others. Choose a bold color or wallpaper on the wall that features the focus of your room (e.g. a fireplace, a large painting). One accent wall technique is to keep with the tone of other walls. For instance, if your room is beige, paint the accent wall a deep, chocolate brown to keep with the neutral tone.

Make these small yet significant changes to your home, and you could be on your way to have your very own redesign at a fraction of the cost.


Focus on Outdoor Living; It adds Comfort and Value

Summer is technically over, however, here in Northern California the weather is in the 90’s and it’s a good time to be outside. In fact, outdoor living is a way of life… so why not think about outdoor living ideas that transform your yard into a getaway from the hectic pace of modern life, a safe place for children to play and a relaxing space to cook, dine and entertain.

One of the things that Century 21 M&M agents do when consulting with the seller is evaluate the condition of a home’s outdoor spaces. And, this is important if you are getting ready to sell your home.

From the front entry to the back property line you will find it easy to convert an uninteresting yard into an outside ‘room’, expanding the square footage of livable space for your home… the end result will be increased property value.

Add Resale Value…

If you are getting ready to sell your home, paying attention to your outdoor living areas will send a message to potential buyers that your home has lots of space to live in. In fact, as long as you don’t go overboard (i.e. adding a swimming pool or expensive landscaping) you should be able to increase the value of your home on a modest budget.

Let’s start with curb appeal…

Decorating the entry to reflect the style of your house makes a great first impression. Not only that, when you drive up to your home, the décor in front can send a signal to your subconscious that it is time to slow down… you are home and it’s time to leave the rest of the world behind. Potential buyers will also respond well to great curb appeal.

It is important to coordinate paint colors with colorful plants that are aromatic and inviting to the touch. The front door should be a focal point with pots of flowers, updated lighting, attractive address numbers and a place to sit.

Focus on the backyard…

In the back yard, introduce indoor comforts with patio furniture. How about creating separate ‘rooms’ for cooking, dining and/or relaxing. There is a wide array of furniture available in different materials for these activities.

To further enhance the feeling of livable space there are weather resistant lamps, ceiling fans, colorful cushioned furniture and carpets made from recycled plastic.

Open Air kitchens are another example of outdoor living ideas. This can be as simple as a portable grill, a table and an ice chest, or as grand as a full scale kitchen with a built-in grill and hot plate, wood burning oven, refrigerator, hot and cold water sink and food prep station (for resale purposes, a full scale kitchen may not be cost-effective). And then there are open air fire pits and fireplaces, a great place to socialize or roast marshmallows, hot dogs and s’mores.

Gardens are primarily about plants, the beauty and aesthetics of plants, plants in the ground and plants in containers. Besides plants, include at least some of the following design elements: Paths, seating, shelter, water, heat and light.

So spend some time… focus on your outdoor living spaces – add comfort, a feeling of spaciousness and resale value to your home. If you are considering selling your home, feel free to contact a Century 21 M&M agent for free consultation on what upgrades will increase the value of your home.