Category Archives: Home Improvement

Standard Closets

Closets can be created with a number of materials. You’re very likely to get several sorts of closet in your residence. You need an organized room in order to have sufficient space to move about. You need to be sure that there is sufficient space left for you to prevent accidents while walking within your room especially in the middle of the night. You’re going to be in a position to have more space within your bedroom if it is possible to take out a few of your previous stuff.

With some Standard Closets, the room looks uncluttered, easy and refreshing. A little room cannot put restrictions on the vertical use of space. There will be enough room space for hanging clothes, shelf space and drawers.

Sliding doors are incredibly useful in saving space. In addition to the many styles and colors that are available in these closet doors, there are numerous shapes you can find to match your room settings. You can also go for framed closet doors.

Storage space may sometimes seem tough to find in a workplace. You need to figure out what ought to be inside this space. Obviously, you might want to provide priority-hanging space to work and distinctive occasion apparel to lessen the possibility of wrinkling them.

There are a number of other critical things which are quite important when choosing a closet. Every closet has a specific storage criterion. On the other hand, in the event the closet is a focal point, select your material and style carefully – allocating a bigger budget might worth it.

There are many ways closet organizers help to organize your closet. They will help you easily track down the ideal solution for your house’s closets. In the event, the closet isn’t located in a prime area of the house. Though various closets have various needs, closet organizers focus their attention on the most fundamental wardrobe storage problems. Wooden closet makes a residence appear cozy. A freely standing wardrobe closet is great for those who have a demand for additional storage space in the house.

Standard Closets provide efficient closet organizers that will help you easily track down the ideal solution for your house’s closets.

Top 3 Styles of Closets

  • Walk-In Closets

Offering more depth and space than a traditional reach-in closet, walk-ins are frequently found in master bedroom suites and loved for their versatility and storage opportunities. Walk-in closets can be a few square feet or as large as a bedroom. But while extra space for a dressing area or vanity comes in handy, you still need to give careful consideration to your closet’s design.

A walk-in closet can also include a center island that frees up storage space on your walls. “But the extra space won’t do you any good if you can’t get to what’s inside,” says architect Duo Dickinson, author of “Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want“. A walk-in closet should be at least 6 1/2 feet wide for easy access.

Also keep in mind the corners and angles in a walk-in closet can be tricky and need to be utilized correctly for optimal storage capacity.

“The tendency when buying a closet from a builder is they run a hanging rod all the way around the closet, and that isn’t the best use of space,” says Kay Wade, vice president of design for Closet Factory. Instead, adding something flat on the back wall of the closet, like shoe shelves, can make the entire closet run more efficiently and feel larger and more open.

  • 10 Stylish Reach-In Closets
“Even having two small drawers can allow you to have your socks and undergarments right there, making getting ready in the morning so much faster,” says Nick Mangiapane, Rubbermaid representative.

A double-tiered hanging system for folded pants, skirts, jackets and other like items is the way to gain space in this kind of closet. And for reach-in closets with traditional hinged doors, you can increase storage by adding hooks or over door racks and pockets to the back of the door for things like keys and shoes.

Wardrobes and Armoires

Sometimes you need storage but you don’t have the proper closet space, and building a closet isn’t in your budget or complementary to the design of your home. A nice alternative, wardrobes and armoires create storage in underutilized spaces, creating a “closet” hidden behind doors or panels of fabric.

“We have seen the wardrobe is no longer storage only, it’s more a dressing room that sets the mood for the day ahead or the big party that night,” says Roar Vaernes, president and CEO of Studio Becker. “It’s important that your wardrobe includes features that not only organize your stuff, but items you will actually use.”

Best Colors to Pair With Pink

Home Decor Improvements

Changing the clocks has got us thinking about what a difference one hour makes. We all know we would benefit from an extra hour of sleep, maybe another hour to run errands.

1. Install a new faucet and sink

Upgrade a tired bathroom by switching out the hardware. Before calling in a costly professional, find out just how quick and easy this home improvement.

2. Fill those empty walls

Nothing says “design in progress” like stark, empty walls. The right wall decor can make any room look put together and well arranged, and this decorating hack is the shortcut to get it done.

3. Set up a succulent terrarium

Bring your home to life in less than an hour. Don’t worry — even if you’re a certified black thumb, you won’t have any trouble keeping succulents in your home.

4. Hang a rope-wrapped porch swing

Upgrade a hanging porch swing or hammock chair, by wrapping that clunky metal chain in thick rope. This quick update won’t only improve your decor.

5. Earn the best owner award

All it takes is one hour to become your kitty’s favorite person, with this sweet cat window perch. It’s a fun home detail for you and a cozy lounging spot for your fur baby.

6. Add easy porch seating

Whether you’re looking for decor or function, this mini rustic bench can be built in 1 hour, and for just $8!

7. Put up cafe curtains in any room

Finding the right window treatment can be a challenge, and putting it up can be a pain. Instead, try this 1 hour window treatment hack, to add a little character to your home without too much stress.

8. Make some stylish bathroom storage

Attach an old wooden crate to your bathroom wall, and voila! You’ve got the perfect charming perch for extra TP rolls. With all that extra time, add more details if you’ve got ‘em, like a vintage license plate to close off your crate.

9. Build a blanket or towel ladder

You’ve been seeing these trendy storage ladders everywhere, but without a ladder of your own, you were out of luck.

10. Create a pretty jewelry organizer

Turn thrift store supplies into colorful storage, with this thrifty 1 hour upcycle for a double-duty DIY that holds your jewelry and looks fab doing it!

Home Decor

Even though you love your chairs, you may want to update them with new chair pads or dining chair cushions because they can add color, comfort, and style. Improvements has a wide variety of chair pads to select from, even faux leather chair pads and bar stool pads. You can purchase a complete set or mix and match your dining chair cushions to create the look and feel you want.

If you have kids, it may drive you nuts that they take their coats off and drop them on the floor instead of hanging them up. Make it easy for them by adding a coat rack, coat hook, or a coat stand right in your entryway! For instance, if you have a dog, you may be interested in our dog tails wall hook. It features a faux rust finish and is perfect for hanging jackets, towels, dog leashes, and more. The plaque has pre-drilled hanging holes, making it simple to hang.

 If you don’t have any, don’t worry. Improvements has unique and affordable entryway decor that will work for you. For instance, a lighted rose topiary tree will brighten up your space. It features 50 warm white LEDs that are spread throughout the branches, green leaves, and coral blooms. A timer option allows you to set the tree for 6 hrs. on/18 hrs. off each day.

Keep your entryway floors clean of debris and mud with a bronze star boot tray! You and your houseguests can kick off your shoes and place them in this sturdy entryway solution. It has a raised lip that will help contain dirt and mud from grimy footwear. You can also use the bronze start boot tray in your laundry room and mud rooms. It holds up to 3 pairs of adult boots or shoes.

If you want to update the look of your living room without spending a lot of money, cover your furniture with a beautiful new slipcover. We have a great selection to choose from, in hundreds of styles, colors and fabrics for most types of seating. You can choose microfiber, cotton, fleece, form-fitted slipcovers or casual covers that just lay over the sofa and can be removed by just pulling them off. Sofa slipcovers will keep your furniture protected from animal hair and messy guests and they’re easy to install.

You can never have too many new throw pillows & blankets! Our Trellis decorative throw pillow features a pretty lattice design and is available in 5 neutral stylish colors. Cozy up on your bed, chair, or couch!

Space for Your Tiny Kitchen

A small kitchen means limited space to cook, eat and entertain. While it can be easy to bombard your countertops with jars, baskets and containers, this is also quick to make your kitchen look messy and unorganized.

From vertical storage ideas to hidden organizers, these clever tips and tricks will keep your spices in a row and your clutter off the counter in ways you never imagined!

1. Vertical storage and chalkboard wall

Make the most of your small space by being smart with your storage. Hang pots and pans from a vertical pegboard or paint a wall in chalk paint for an easily accessible shopping list that won’t clutter your fridge.

2. Magnetic knife rack

Save countertop space by making a magnetic knife rack that hangs on your kitchen wall. All you need is a piece of wood and magnet strips for this kitchen hack!

3. Sliding wall baskets and caddies

If you have a habit of leaving cereal boxes or cooking supplies on the counter, add some rails with sliding baskets and caddies to keep your utensils and cooking ingredients handy.

4. Canned food organizer

Be creative with your storage by maximizing empty space that may be hiding. This sliding shelf on casters lives in the inches between the fridge and wall, and is perfect for holding canned foods and spices.

5. Window bar table

If your kitchen can’t fit a dining table or seating area, create your own café corner by building a window bar table.

6. Under the sink trash bags

Do you have limited space under your kitchen sink? This trash bag organizer is a game-changer. Mount curtain rods on brackets under your sink and hang your trash bags for easy access.

7. Hidden cabinet organizer

Clear the chaos from your fridge by making a custom organizer on the inside of your cabinet door. Clothespins, magnets and hooks on decorative paper will corral all of your bills, photos and gift certificates in one place.

8. DIY wine rack

For a cheap wine storage solution, make this DIY wine rack out of wood and bolts. A vertical wall wine rack will keep your bottles neatly stored, easily displayed and out of the way!

9. Rolling kitchen carts

If your tiny kitchen is lacking in countertop space, create your own place for chopping and stirring by adding a kitchen cart.

10. Glass jars attached to shelves

When you’re looking for extra storage areas, consider attaching jar lids under your cabinet shelves for a creative use of space.

INSPIRING SMALL KITCHENS

A lot of the kitchens we feature on this site are dramatic and beautiful and well, huge. So today we’ve rounded up a selection of kitchens that are on the smaller side (some on the really small side) to inspire those of you who want a beautiful room for cooking, but don’t have infinite space.

  1. A sloped ceiling makes this small kitchen, in a Swedish apartment spotted on Decor Demon, especially sweet.
  2. A brick wall gives this little kitchen from Loving It a little extra character.
  3. A small, streamlined kitchen in a Swedish apartment from The Style Files.
  4. A lovely little kitchen from Estilos Deco.
  5. Tall ceilings make this kitchen (spotted on SF Girl by Bay) feel much more spacious.
  6. A little kitchen from House and Hold.
  7. A high-contrast small kitchen from Fantastic Frank.
  8. A sunny small kitchen from The Everygirl.
  9. From The Style Files, a German kitchen that’s small but beautifully bright.

Effective Home Improvement Ideas

1. Change out Incandescent Light Bulbs for LED Indoor Lamps

The United States government has mandated this change, but far too many homeowners cling to the use of energy sucking incandescent light bulbs. A recent study states that the average American household burns 47 light bulbs. By assuming the use of 60-watt incandescent light bulbs, the amount of energy saved by going LED is staggering.

2. Dual Flush Toilets are Better than OneSource: xcelenergy.com
The average American household that uses 47 light bulbs saves more than 80% in energy consumption. Forget the government. Do the right thing and replace incandescent light bulbs with LED indoor lamps.

3. Dimwits Don’t Use Light Dimmers

Light dimmers save more than 90 percent of light energy, which translates into a 10 percent reduction of your total energy bill. You simply set the dimmer to a level that meets your needs and watch the light automatically dim, after a certain period has elapsed. The less light that you use, the longer you enjoy the energy saving benefits of LED bulbs.

4. Automatically Shut Down Desktops and Laptops

How many times do you stop working on a laptop or desktop computer to do something else? Your smartphone rings a text or Federal Express comes knocking at the door. Whatever the case, you waste precious energy by leaving unattended computing devices running at full power. Laptop and desktop computers that include the “auto shut off” feature prevent you from wasting energy, while you tend to other matters.

5. Strip Down Electronic Device Power

Conventional power strips offer homeowners a convenient way to increase the number of electrical outlets. However, the convenience leads to careless energy usage, as the electronic devices remain plugged in most of time. Many electronic devices, such as plasma televisions and DVD players continue to use power after you turn off the machines.

6. Ceiling Fans Require Less Power

Air conditioners spoil us by producing a steady stream of cooler, drier air. However, far too many homeowners blast the AC from the first hint of spring to the last gasp of autumn. Air conditioners guzzle energy, especially in homes that leak in hot, humid air.

7. When Shower Drips are a Good Thing

We know that a dripping shower wastes water and hence, energy. A shower head that includes a drip features allows you reduce the flow of water, while you lather up with soap. The water reduction feature appears to save little in energy, but every bit counts in the effort to implement home improvement ideas to make it energy efficient.

8. Add a Layer of Heat Loss Protection

Sealing home windows airtight goes a long way toward saving energy. Advanced technology has taken airtight windows one step further by introducing smart blinds. Cellular and honeycomb blinds work in tandem with windows to reduce heat loss by up to 86%. Smart blinds operate on a timer switch that you set at night and an automatic daylight detector for daytime energy savings.

9. Second that Motion

We know about the security benefits of installing outdoor motion sensor based lighting. An added benefit helps you save energy and thus, lower your monthly utility bill. Motion sensor based lights automatically turn on, whenever the sensors detect movement.

10. From Dusk to Dawn Energy Savings

After hosting an outdoor bash, we sometimes forget to turn off the outdoor lighting. This act of forgetfulness adds up in higher energy consumption. Dusk to dawn LED light bulbs automatically turn off at a certain time to prevent energy waste. Of course, we have already discovered the energy saving benefits of LED bulbs.

 

Tips for Increasing Your Home’s Value

  • Plan your remodel.
  • Tackle one room at a time.
  • Small improvements can really pay off.
  • Clean your house now for profits later.
  • Curb appeal counts.
 

 

  • Upgrade the kitchen.
  • Beautify your bathroom.
  • Weigh the benefits of upgrading versus selling.
 

  • Hire a certified home inspector.
 

  • Pay down the principal on your loan.
 

Work With What You Already Have At Home

Sometimes it can seem as if designers want you to replace everything you have and start fresh with each design season. In reality, a lot of good home basics just need a little building up to go from acceptable to exceptional. Here are some ways to give your rooms an impressive update by working with what you already have.

1. Uninspiring moldings.

The rich detail that decorative molding adds to a home is getting ever more popular, but it can certainly be pricey, especially if you tear out existing trim and start fresh. If you have decent but drab molding in place, beef it up with additional strips. Add to the crown, baseboard or even door and window trim, then paint it the same color.

2. Slim modern sofas.

Modern “apartment” or starter sofas often have a low back, and if you have one, you may tire of not being able to really sink in it. Rather than tossing it, try tossing on oversize cushions. With a few layers in eye-catching colors and prints, you can build the back of your sofa into a plush place to unwind. At the same time, you’ll create a more personal look.

3. Short curtains.

Curtains from a package can be great for the budget, but they won’t necessarily be quite the right length to get that floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall designer effect. However, with a little sewing skill (or a relatively easy job for a professional seamstress), two curtain panels can be combined into one perfect-length set, with a custom color-block effect that nobody else will have.

4. Skinny or outdated lampshades.

Perfectly good lamp bases often get passed down as heirlooms (or simply hand-me-downs), but the shades end up being dusty and dated. Modernize a look with chunky cylindrical shades to give a table or floor lamp more oomph.

5. Teeny photos.

Small photos (especially keepsake photos from years gone by) may not be able to fill much more than a few pages in a scrapbook, but slip them into oversize frames with deep matting, and suddenly you have a full gallery collection with each image presented as a work of art. You can get creative and use darker papers to achieve different effects. The photos themselves don’t have to match in size or orientation because the oversize frames can go in any direction you wish. Or choose them all in one shape for clean consistency.

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Ways To Style A Coffee Table

A coffee table is many things: a place to set your drink, a footrest, somewhere to stash the remote and — of course — a beautiful decorative addition to your living room. Or, at least, it has the potential to be all of these things. Your coffee table can also become a cluttered mess if you aren’t careful, or a drab disappointment if you’re scared to get a little creative.

1. Use books as a base. There are diverse items on this artfully styled coffee table, but the look is still neat and orderly. Beautiful books (or other flat items like serving trays or even stylish magazines) are a great base for layering.

2. Circles and squares. Books add smart structure, but if every piece is rectangular, the look can feel a little stuffy. This is where the circle comes in. Playing elegant curves against crisp rectangular corners mixes up the look for a classic combination. Try a circular vase, bowl, candle or paperweight either on or between squarer items to break up the lines and add visual interest.

3. Play with heights. Another way to add energy to your coffee table look is by playing with the heights of items. The rule of three can apply here as well. Try to achieve three different heights, using items of different sizes or by stacking them higher.

4. Candles and flowers. Flowers and taper candles are two design standbys that will help your coffee table style reach new heights. Additionally, flowers add a pop of color, while candlesticks can add a flash of glam metal, so they’re even better together. If you have multiple candlesticks, try slicing an inch or two off the bottom of one candle to vary the heights, adding even more interest.

5. Easy being green. Plant life also adds energy, introducing organic lines that contrast manufactured pieces.

6. Simple asymmetry. It’s worth noting at this point that these styling suggestions so far are just one approach. If all of these rules and formulas seem overwhelming, try the easiest approach of all: one item (or stack) placed asymmetrically almost all the way to one end. An asymmetrical approach is also very effective if your table is beautiful in and of itself. Place items off to one side or in a corner and let the table surface do most of the talking.

7. Square tables. For a perfectly square table, you may be tempted to use four matching pieces for a perfectly symmetrical look. However, you can get a more intriguing look by using two pieces or groups, one in each corner. Try a tall vase or lantern in one corner with a stack of two or three books in the other (and an airy sculptural accent on top).

8. Glass tables. Don’t forget when styling a glass coffee table that it’s not just about what goes on top, but also what goes below. A see-through table practically demands a graphic rug. Try a black-and-white rug and use similarly stark accents in differing shapes, or leave the top completely undressed and let the rug be the star of the show.

9. Two-shelf tables. If your coffee table has a lower shelf, you don’t have to fill both levels, but if you choose to, try lining up the items on each tier. Use two pairs instead of threes, and don’t forget to play with heights. A lidded storage box or small basket can help keep the bottom level looking sharp while giving you a place to stash items like remote controls.

10. Unusually shaped tables. Plants are even more friendly when the table is an unusual curvy shape. Gently drooping blossoms like tulips are especially great, as the organic forms will work together with the table shape and

Pretty Ways to Style a Coffee Table

  1. The Art of Coffee Table Styling
  2. Keep it Balanced
  3. Use a Tray
  4. Size Matters
  5. Work with the Room
  6. Keep it Low
  7. Don’t Overcrowd
  8. Stick with the Classics
  9. Take a 360 Approach
  10. Include One Statement Piece

 

Home Decor Tricks to Brighten a Dark Room

If you’re looking to brighten up a room that feels more like a cave (or even just a little on the dim side), try this mix of beginner tips and advanced ideas for bringing in more light and maximizing what you already have.

1. Start with white. When trying to brighten a dark space, many people look to mirrors to reflect light around a room. But that’s actually a bit of a design myth. The best way to scatter light is by using lots of white, because the non-hue doesn’t absorb any color.

2. Light the walls. To brighten up a ceiling in a dim room such as a laundry room or den, try replacing a flush-mount ceiling light or a pendant with a semi-flush light that hangs just a little below the ceiling. This will diffuse the light across the ceiling to almost simulate the glowing effect of a skylight. Table lamps work well on furniture to spread light across a wall, especially in classic drum shades with openings at the top and bottom.

3. Cool with blue. Natural light is cool compared with yellow-toned incandescent bulbs, so adding blue gives a pleasing crispness that reminds us of the sky. Plus, cool blue is neutral enough to work with nearly any accent color you want to toss in.

4. Counteract with black. It seems counterintuitive, but introducing some hits of stark black or charcoal adds touches of contrast that make the light areas surrounding them pop even more. Look especially to thin, linear elements, such as these chairs, or long floor lamps, sharp picture frames or patterned fabrics for the right dose of darkness.

5. Update lightbulbs. Besides adding actual blue, you can also choose to update your lightbulbs to a brighter output and a cooler “daylight” color tone. Warmer, yellow lights, such as the ones seen here, create a beautifully warm, intimate atmosphere, but if you’d prefer a brighter and fresher look, try a “true white” bulb.

6. Add area rugs. Dark hardwood or laminate floors are a beautiful and popular staple for contemporary homes, but they can drain a lot of light from some spaces, especially corridors without windows.

7. Embrace blond woods. Including some elements of pale woods can really lighten up a space. Throw in a plant and the room will feel more naturally sunny even without any new light sources.

8. Provide balance. Ultimately, it’s important for a room to have some natural interplay between light and shadow, as the highlights and lowlights are appealing to the eye. 

Classic Ways to Brighten a Dark Room

  1. Lighten & Brighten

    A dark room can feel drab and uninviting. Use a few simple techniques, and paint, fixtures, and accessories, to brighten a dim space and bring it fresh charm.

  2. Paint the Ceiling White

    A dark ceiling can loom above a room and make it feel small. To immediately brighten the space, give the ceiling a fresh coat of white paint. Heavy wooden beams can darken a room. Paint them as well, and they’ll all but disappear.

     

  3. Limit Dark Colors to Accents

    Color is a wonderful design tool. But too much of a dark hue can make a room feel closed in. If your room suffers from darkness, limit saturated colors to a single wall, or accents, and paint the other walls something light and bright.

  4. Lighten Your Window Treatments

    Make the most of the natural light that you have. Avoid heavy draperies and window treatments that block natural light. Instead, choose minimal options, like blinds and roman shades that don’t take up space on your wall. An opaque treatment will give you privacy while still letting light into the room.

  5. Minimize Furniture

    Heavy, cumbersome furniture overwhelms a room, making it feel dark. Swap overstuffed and clunky pieces for those with smooth, sleek lines and light legs. Solid, lighter colors instead of bold, dark prints, also keep the room feeling light.

  6. Lighten Dark Floors

    Lighten up what’s underfoot. If you can’t refinish or replace a dark floor, cover it with a light-toned area rug, and you’ll bring instant brightness to the area.

  7. Diffuse Lighting

    Use walls and ceilings as reflectors to help maximize your light. Place lamps and light fixtures so that they shine onto other surfaces, and up the ambient light in the room.

  8. Use Brighter Lightbulbs

    Lumens, not watts, is the unit of measure that counts. Swap your light bulbs for some with higher lumens, and you’ll up the intensity of light in the room. CFLs and LEDs give you a higher light output for the amount of energy they consume, so you can be more energy efficient at the same time.

  9. Add a Mirror

    Strategically place a mirror or two in a dark room, and it will reflect light, making it feel brighter—and bigger. Large mirrors with slimmer frames are best because they bring in light while feeling less clunky and intrusive.

  10. Lighten Up on Accessories and Art

    Take a look at all your “stuff.” Too much junk crowds a room and makes it feel dark and small. Reduce it all. Minimize books and tchotchkes, and keep art and accessories that are bright and light with clean lines.

  11. Swap In a Glass Door

    If you can make more permanent changes to your space, swap a solid door out for a glass one. If it’s an exterior door, it will increase the natural light in the room. If it’s an internal door, it will make the room feel more open and bright.

Home’s Resale Value

First time home owners know that buying a home is one of the most important investments that you can make. And while signing the papers on your first home can feel like putting down roots in your perfect pad, the reality is that most millennial homeowners end up moving multiple times, due to changing family and career factors. That’s why your home’s resale value should be a primary focus right from the get-go

1. Landscape Wisely

Like a good haircut, a yard should frame the face of your house in the most flattering way possible. After all, your yard is wholly responsible for your property’s first impressions. While it’s pretty obvious advice to keep your lawn mowed and weed-free, certain outdoor renovation projects are more likely to add value than others.

Forget about add-ons like a pool or hot tub, which can signal to potential buyers more maintenance than enjoyment. Instead, focus on the classics. Making sure your yard has a couple of healthy, thriving trees is a trusty way to boost your home’s resale value more than you may think. .

2. Refresh Your Front Door

If you’ve wowed house hunters with your stellar landscaping, the next place their eye will travel to is the front door. And it plays a big factor in your home’s resale value. In fact, according to a Cost vs. Value report conducted by Remodel, replacing an outdated entryway can have one of the biggest returns of any home improvement you could do yourself. Update the appearance of your whole home with a door that uses modern materials and a new color scheme.

3. Refinish The Floors

Floors are another make or break factor for most buyers. Gone are the days of wall-to-wall carpeting signaling luxury; instead they just signal lots of dust mites and vacuuming. Wood is always a classic choice, with varieties like oak being safe bets amongst house hunters. Replacing floors that have signs of wood rot or termites is another great way to add value to your home. To show your floors some less costly TLC, repair broken tiles or add a well-placed nail to conceal a pesky squeak.

4. Make Your Home More Energy and Cost Efficient

According to an annual survey done by the National Association of Realtors, millennials comprise 35 percent of all first-time homebuyers. This tech-savvy generation is looking for properties with smart home technology upgrades that will offer enhanced security, energy efficiency, and savings. Smart thermostats, lighting, and door locks can be a big draw for millennials, who value the ease of controlling their home by a smartphone app, even when they’re away from home. And smart thermostats can save up to 10 percent annually in home heating costs, proving that connected home apps aren’t just a passing trend.

Energy efficient upgrades can also bring tax credits to homeowners, so be sure to check out which updated homeowner credits are available through the U.S. Department of Energy. A 30 percent tax credit for installing solar energy systems has been extended through 2019, and credits are also available for several other energy efficient home improvement projects.

5. Update The Kitchen

Consider adding some combination of new stainless steel appliances, cabinets, flooring and a modern countertop to refresh your kitchen on a smaller budget, depending on which aspect of your current setup could most use a facelift.

 Factors That Affect Resale Value

  • Location you know rest

Proximity to a busy highway, proximity to a large vacant lot, proximity to not very much at all … poor home placement almost always guarantees a stagnation of value. This is why two identical homes in the same neighborhood can have wildly different listing numbers if one is on a cul-de-sac and the other backs up to a four-way road.

  • Outdated renovations

Does your kitchen celebrate the early 2000s trends, with dark wood cabinets and wall-to-wall carpet? Is your master bath a paean to the wonders of glass-brick walls and sponge paint? Renovations that were in vogue when you bought your home might now cause a buyer to come in and turn up their nose. This is not to say, however, that a major renovation is the best way to increase your net return.

  • Renovations that suit your tastes only

Maybe you put in your dream kitchen a few years ago, indulging your penchant for frosted glass cabinets and an avocado-green refrigerator. The problem in executing your singular vision? You risk finding out no one else shares your taste.

  • Bedroom or bathroom shortages

The second set of stats scrutinized by buyers? Bed and bath counts. There’s no buyer out there who doesn’t dream of having a separate guest bedroom or getting a whole bathroom to themselves. Even the most coveted address won’t be helped by having only one bathroom or a low bedroom tally.

Make Over Ugly Air Vents

Central air conditioning is a luxury, yes, but it does come with one particularly unsightly problem: air vents. Look around any room and your eyes are likely to snag on bright white slats marring otherwise perfectly lovely ceilings, walls, and floors.

  • Conceal it

Out of sight, out of mind. Architect and designer Ernesto Santalla covered the air vents in this home with architectural millwork. With its floating shelf, the installation looks like a piece of furniture.

  • Paint it

Hide an air vent in plain sight with a fresh coat of the same paint color you used on the walls.

  • Switch out the cover

Say goodbye to those sad slats and replace them with a piece of framed, patterned mesh. In illustrator and designer Jacqueline Schmidt’s bathroom, the vent is an artistic detail rather than an eyesore.

Repurposed Door Mat to Cover an Ugly Return Air Vent

Disclaimers before you try it yourself:
1.  When searching for a rubber door mat, try to find one that allows plenty of airflow, meaning that thedoor mat has a large amount of space in between the rubber sections.
2.  I have two air vents, a second one is located about 4 feet above the one shown and I have decided to leave it as is and unobstructed for maximum airflow.
3.  I have consulted with our HVAC Air Technician and he has agreed that the doormat leaves proper airflow for our home based on our own situation, definitely consult with your own Air Technician to ensure that you get proper airflow before using it on yours. Our technician was already on call for our yearly checkup so it was no additional charge to check it out.
4.  Open up your airvents a little by raising up the individual vent panels with pliers to allow even more airflow.

Directions on How to Make a Decorative Air Return Vent Cover:

Since our heating and cooling system has the filter built-in to the air handler, the frame I made only needed to encase the opening and hold the metal screen. I’ll show you in just a second how to make it hold a filter.

To make it easy to remove the frame, I countersunk the screw holes where it’s secured it to the studs and covered the holes with wooden buttons (also called screw hole plugs). If you need a frame that opens, you will need to secure it to the studs with hinges. Your best bet would be a piano hinge at the top of the frame so it lifts from the bottom.

Supplies to make a decorative air return vent cover:

1. 4″ wide boards. I used the same primed finger joint boards that I used for our gallery shelves.

2. Wood glue

3. Decorative metal radiator screen found at Lowes. Here’s the item number to help you find what you need. There were three different types of screens, but I the quatrefoil pattern was my favorite. You can also order it on Amazon.com by clicking this link if you can’t find it in the stores.

4. A Kreg Jig and a face clamp.  The kit comes with an instructional DVD to help you get started. It also includes a screw starter kit.

5. Staple gun

6. Power Drill

7. Miter Saw