Making your home the place to be
It’s no secret that we’re living in unprecedented times, and most of us are spending more time at home than anticipated.
This is creating challenges for many people. While a roof over our head and a place to call home are critical, countless factors influence a choice of accommodation. Access to work, local entertainment, and amenities, the ability to easily connect with friends and family – all are important, but arguably redundant while the world wrestles with the impact of a global pandemic.
The solution seems simple. Under the ordinary run of things, unhappiness in the home is resolved by moving. Alas, the property market is in a state of flux. House prices, and the value they offer, have long been a hot-button issue. At the time of writing, the adage that a home is worth whatever somebody is willing to pay is truer than ever. Countless homeowners are on the move, with city-dwellers in particular seeking an escape to spacious, rural territories. As a result, demand for property is outstripping supply, and the value of real estate continues to soar.
A comfortable and welcoming home should always be the priority when moving. All the same, most property purchasers wish to know they are making a safe investment. Trading property should provide a future boost to the next rung of the housing ladder. With prices inflated – dare we say artificially? – by the global pandemic, purchasing a home at this point is akin to spinning a roulette wheel, gambling life savings on the outcome, and hoping to land on black. The value of property may continue to enjoy an upward trajectory – or the metaphorical wheel could come to a juddering halt without warning.
Savvy real estate veterans know how to exploit this uncertainty. After all, even when playing the odds at the roulette table, it’s still possible to devise a roulette strategy. All the same, this doesn’t feel like the safest time to plan a house move. Investment in converting and improving an existing dwelling appears a more fiscally prudent decision until the market stabilizes. Thankfully, there are countless ways that a home can be converted into the most reputable location in town.
Invest in new furnishings
The adage claims that “a change is good as a rest.” That can certainly apply to a home. Rather than packing your worldly goods up and starting over, consider providing your existing home with a luxury makeover. It will feel like a new location in no time.
Start with your furnishings. Order a new mattress, bed frame, sofa, and corresponding armchairs. Consider changing color schemes from what you’re used to. Use high-end upholstery for a feeling of indulgence, and ensure you have a wide array of different textures to stimulate all the senses. Apply a new rug to complete the room.
Don’t stop with the fundamentals, though. Your lighting arrangements should also undergo a complete renovation. Ditch your existing lampshades and replace them with something a little more modern. Consider the walls, too. Neutral shades look clean and open up space in a room. Adhesive wallpaper is a great choice, as by its very nature it is eminently replaceable. This is helpful when testing a new design and makes another change in the near future effortless.
Do not hold back on your redesign. Assess every room – including the bathroom – and ask yourself a simple question – “what have I always said I would like to do this room some day?” If you have the budget to move but feel any kind of conflict about whether you’d like to do so, today could be that day.
Make no mistake – significant home improvements can be almost as costly as purchasing a new home. We certainly would not advise anybody to accrue debt for such a project while the global economy remains so uncertain. New furnishings are a sound investment of any available funds, though. Superior furniture can serve for decades.
Open up interior space
All the new furniture in the world will not help if you feel that the walls of a small home are closing in on you. The answer to this is assessing whether those divisions are strictly necessary. If walls are not load-bearing, consider opening up your home by knocking them down.
Open plan living is not for everybody. You may enjoy having a variety of zones within your property, especially if you have a family. All the same, sometimes one large room is better than two smaller ones. Opening up space can provide valuable breathing room and make a property feel much bigger.
We do not simply mean living rooms here, either. There is every chance that you have spent more time in that room than you ever thought you would. Can spare bedrooms be combined to create a larger space, such as a home gym? Is the utility room connected Ito your kitchen strictly necessary, or would you be better served with a brighter, airier kitchen that has space for a breakfast table?
Consider the space you have and see what can be done to adjust it. Remember, a house is ultimately a shell. There may be plenty of options open to you when it comes to adjusting the interior.
Create an urban oasis
If you’re missing the great outdoors, embrace your green thumb and create an urban oasis of plant life. Whether genuine or artificial, plants bring character and charm to any home. A combination of both approaches can be particularly powerful. Dot a range of sweet-smelling bouquets from a florist around the house and match these with taller houseplants.
If you have an outside space, so much the better. Add a little secluded, shaded seating and paint your surroundings an appealing, calming color. Add some plants, flowers, and even a water feature if possible. Before you know it, you’ll have an outside space to match any park – and the perfect place to escape from the pressures of modern life.
Smart technology is on the rise, and strategic use around the home can revolutionize the way you live. Start with an Amazon Echo. Yes, we know, Jeff Bezos has had enough of your money over the last year. An Echo can connect to every smart appliance in your home with a little tinkering, though. This will make access to everything available through voice command. That may sound like a novelty, but before long, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Smart lighting is the first thing your home needs. Smart lighting will enable you to brighten or dim lights at will, in addition to switching shades of lighting to match your mood. Some smart lighting will even pair with a smart TV, lighting the room to match what is unfolding on the screen. Watching a documentary about the ocean? Your home will be bathed in blue.
A smart thermostat will keep you feeling comfortable at the touch of a button, while smart security will eradicate those feelings of “did I lock the front door?”, as well as enabling you see who is ringing the doorbell from anywhere in the home. A liberal application of smart plugs will also ensure that you can switch on your coffee maker, stove, and any other appliance from any location. If you can’t face any more tiresome chores, think about a smart vacuum like the iRobot Roomba. Why push a cleaner around if an electronic appliance can be programmed to follow a path and do the work for you?
What purpose is your garage currently serving? Sure, your car likely isn’t seeing much use right now. If you can park elsewhere while keeping your vehicle safe and secure, however, a garage conversion could bring a new lease of your life to your home.
Sick to the back teeth of watching Netflix from your couch? You can relate. By converting your garage into a screening room, you can bring the movie theatre experience into your own home. Insulate and soundproof the walls for maximum comfort, and start investigating high-spec equipment to invest in. An LCD projector will connect to any multimedia device. Pair with this a screen and pick up premium speakers – strategically placed for full surround sound. Add some comfortable seating and a cooler for drinks and snacks and you’re all set.
Alternatively, you can bypass passive entertainment altogether. We’re all missing our friends right now, but socializing is verboten in many locations. If you can’t head to a bar, bring the bar to you. You’ll still need to insulate, but ensure you paint the walls a shade that offers appropriate ambiance and install appropriately dim lighting. Accessorize with furnishings, a sound system, and – most importantly – a liquor shelf and refrigerator, and you’ve created the ultimate nightspot. Best of all, you won’t even need to wait in the rain afterward to hail a taxi home.
Ready for home improvements?
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. If you have the imagination and the budget, any home improvement is possible. What matters most is that you work to create the property of your dreams. Right now, purchasing such a development may be a decision you live to regret if its value plummets. Making the most of what you have, however, will always be a sound investment.