Upgrading your home can mean making some of the toughest decisions that you will come across. It is tough because all the choices sound good, though not equally so – and that is the point here. Which upgrades for the home are the best choices? What are the top options for enriching your home and your life?
Well, to answer this question, you need to think about which parts of the home get the most use, regardless of personal preferences and activity levels. There are only two real places that come into consideration here, and they are the kitchen and the bathroom. Think about it – everybody has to prepare food in some way, and everyone has to bathe.
For the kitchen, upgrading cabinets and countertops can be much more stimulating than just upgrading the appliances. In any case, your kitchen is probably stuffed already! This points out one common issue with standard kitchens: the lack of cabinet space. Getting your cabinets upgraded to be taller and deeper will allow you not just to store more, but to store larger pieces easily. Take for example the fact that most ordinary cabinets are 12 inches deep, while the larger plates we use for big dinners exceed that.
Aside from upgrading capacity, you might want to choose a better wood for your cabinets and drawers. Oak is pretty standard, and while it is strong it is also not very visually appealing. A richer wood like maple is a good choice. Such visual stimulation might even inspire you to greater culinary heights. In any case, new cabinets refresh the look of the kitchen, and give it a more customized look.
Remodeling your kitchen’s island (if it has one) can also be very useful and can change the feel of the entire kitchen. Go for granite slab countertops if you can, because they make for solid and stable surfaces for any and all kitchen work.
Consider replacing your chrome fixtures with brushed nickel or brass, whether these are the taps in your bath, the handles on your cabinets, or the knobs in your doors. This is a particularly good choice if you have chrome-plated fixtures, which can lose their shine and appeal for a number of reasons.
In the bathroom, changing up your old water heater for a more modern, energy-efficient unit can be a big help not just to you but also to the environment. Toilets with half-flush options make for great upgrades too! This is a place that features quite a bit of chrome and could merit some changing to sturdier and more rust-resistant fixtures.
Adding ceiling fans or improving the layout of the electrical outlets can also be worth every cent you spend. For those living in colder climes, getting power-efficient space heaters is also highly recommended. Make sure to repair any insulation problems, like windows or doors that have spaces that let heat out.
Still, the most important thing to remember is to choose something that makes you happy and satisfied. It IS your home and your life after all. Resale value comes second to your wants right now (though you should not disregard it either). Just pick the one that makes you happy!
Susan Felt of The Arizona Republic