Monday, January 24, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Give It a Personality
New homes are great: new foundation, new plumbing, that new carpet smell. It's important to put your own stamp on your new home home. Make it different from your neighbour's so that it not only has its own charm and personality, but when it comes time to sell your house has something different to offer: a customized look.
Step Back In Time
One great way to turn your monotonous home design into something unique is to go historic. Since brand new houses don't yet have a story to tell, you now have the opportunity to create your own stories, your own history. So though it's a recent addition it can still have an antique feel with the right remodels. And they don't have to be huge projects. You don't need to gut the place and rebuild in order to create a historic look. Instead, replace a modern window with stained glass to add some rustic charisma. Invest in some carved woodwork on your staircase. Swap the carpet or linoleum with reclaimed wood floors. Install some engraved stonework around the fireplace mantel. The finer points are often what set a house apart: it shows that the homeowners care about small customized details, which will speak highly of the house's overall quality and upkeep.
House of the Future
However, even in historic homes, you still need all the bells and whistles. A great way to transform a cookie-cutter floor plan is to modify and update the house fixtures. Kitchens are big selling points but most come standard with a fridge, dishwasher and range unit. But if you add a few modern touches you could turn a boring kitchen into a state-of-the-art space. Install stainless steel appliances for a sleek, streamlined look. Put in dishwasher or warming drawers. Swap the Formica with natural stone counter tops. Even hardwood floors can seem homogenous, so set yourself apart with tiled flooring or quality linoleum. Also, bathrooms are typically a tub, toilet, and sink. Why not add a Jacuzzi, a steam shower, or even a sauna to give the space its own distinct character.
Don't Waste Space
Most new homes have at least one extra room: an unfinished basement, a spare bedroom, or a living room that's never used. Why not turn these empty spaces into something exceptional. A finished basement is always a great investment, especially if you turn it into a bedroom with egress windows and an additional half-bath. But if you want to get inventive, why not turn it into a home theater with a projection television and stadium seating. Or turn it into a rec room with a full wet bar, pool table, and a flat screen for the big game. Most guest rooms simply contain a bed and end up being used for storage. Instead, why not turn it into a home gym or a personalized office space. And living rooms are tricky. Typically these rooms hold a couple pieces of nice furniture and are never thought about again. Why not turn these areas into functional rooms: install built-in bookshelves to create a home library, a table and chairs for a formal dining room, or maybe add a roll-top desk, liquor cabinet, and piano to form an old-fashioned parlor.
Based on an article by Marc Dickinson who has worked in both the general contracting and landscaping trades and is currently a home improvement freelance writer with over 300 articles published.