Tip of the Week
When it comes to home decorating, it’s easy to blow your budget on one or two upgrades. Too often, however, costly decorating ploys disappoint, wearing out or becoming dated before you’ve paid off the financing. Fortunately, a handful of upgrades just scream “luxury,” while the price tags quietly snicker “this look didn't cost an arm and a leg.”
Skylights: Luxury, drama and energy efficiency are the trifecta of home decorating and improvement, and few upgrades deliver all three as well as skylights. Because they admit abundant natural light into a room, skylights have a powerful impact. Skylights can help reduce electric bills by providing natural light and passive ventilation.
Gas fireplaces: While adding a wood-burning fireplace to an existing home may be difficult or impossible in many scenarios, modern gas fireplaces can go virtually anywhere, including interior walls. Direct-vent fireplaces go on exterior walls and eliminate the need for a chimney. Although not a DIY job for most homeowners, installing a gas fireplace can cost as little as $3,000.
Granite bathroom vanities: Granite remains the gold standard of luxury, beauty and function when you're talking about countertops. Installing granite in a kitchen can be costly, but with smaller vanities and less counter space, bathrooms cost much less to outfit in granite. Professionally installed granite bathroom vanities can cost just a few thousand dollars.
Kitchen upgrades increase value: Kitchen remodeling projects can significantly add comfort, improve functionality and increase your home’s resale value. “Projects including refinishing the cabinets, updating the countertops and installing new appliances all provide a high return without breaking the bank,” says HomeAdvisor CEO Chris Terrill.
Wall art adds pizazz to any room: A wall mural can create virtually any effect you desire in any room of the house: elegance in a dining room, cozy comfort in a kitchen or whimsy in a child's bedroom. While a professional, hand-painted wall mural may cost more than your entire re-decorating budget, modern wallpaper murals can allow you to completely alter the look of a room for less than $500. Requiring no paste or trimming, wallpaper murals can easily be installed by the average homeowner. Repositionable varieties can even be taken down and moved from room to room.
Give your backyard even more personality by selecting a few garden statues or other accessories that reflect your style, such as recycled metal sculptures, elaborately painted bird houses, unique planters or large colorful rocks. With a few simple updates, you can easily create an outdoor retreat in your own backyard that can provide you the space for entertaining, reading and relaxing without a costly renovation.
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Home Help: Luxurious upgrades don’t have to break the bank
Tip of the Week