7 Simple Ways to Turn Your House Into Your Dream Home
Unless you’re ridiculously lucky (or loaded), your first home won’t look like your dream home the second you first put the key in the lock. Buying a home is a huge investment and many new owners do not have the means to jump straight into major renovations.
Fear not! That doesn’t mean you have to wait years or decades to start turning your new house into your dream home. Making your dream a reality will take time, but chances are you can get started on at least one of the following 7 renovation tips today:
- Personalize with Paint
I am ashamed to say that I waited over a year to begin painting the walls of my house. What’s worse, the existing wall color was a disturbing shade I dubbed Smoker’s Gray: strange, dirty looking hue that made the house look ill.
A few weekends and a few paint cans later, my house stopped feeling like someone else’s dirty space and started feeling like my home.
Professional designers have plenty of rules and advice about picking paint colors. While much of that advice is helpful, you don’t want to pick paint colors based on what will sell in 20 years or make a designer happy. You want your home to reflect your style and make you feel good.
Look to your art, your linens, your clothes and accessories to get a good idea of what colors make you happy. Don’t be afraid to break the mold or break a rule. If you want to paint every room black: go for it.
- Light it Up
There is a whole world of varied and affordable lighting options available: it’s time to nix the boob lights.
There’s no need to work around builder basics or outdated relics. With plenty of under $100 lights available, you can swap out a fixture and have a room looking like a brand new space in under an hour.
Go one step further and customize your ambiance by switching your light bulbs as well.
- Fix Your Fixtures
Swapping out the little things may seem, well, small next to kitchen renovations or big budget additions, but they will make a huge difference.
Those changes will never add up if you never get started. Start bringing in the finishes and style syou love by swapping outlet covers, door knobs, hinges, faucets and other hardware.
- Get the Green
Your home is more than a house, it’s your whole property. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the dosh for a complete landscaping overhaul.
Instead, start by getting what you have under control. Think: weeding, mowing, trimming, etc. Once any overgrowth or weeds are out of the way, start investing in additions or substitutions that make you smile every time you pull in the drive.
To get the bang for your buck, pick plants that look great year round over blink-and-you-miss-it seasonals
- Enliven Your Entry
No matter the size, your entry is still the first thing you–and everyone else–see when you come home. Creating an attractive, functional entry will not only improve your everyday routines, it will provide your visitors instant insight into your style.
Entryways need to balance form and function. Review your routine to ensure you have a place for everything you need: chargers, shoes, leashes, spare change, mail, etc. Beautiful entries have key ingredients in common. Bookmart blogs or design magazine spreads if you need help gathering ideas.
- Add Art
Like paint, art is another improvement that doesn’t need to wait. Don’t put off hanging pictures or prints until a room is “finished.” Spoiler alert: rooms are never finished.
Few design elements bring as much joy or display as much personality as pictures and art. What’s more, they’re easy to both place and move. Go ahead and hang your art now. If you need to change things up later, a little spackle and a dab of paint is all you need to make old nail holes almost invisible.
- Dream and Dream Some More
Planning and imagining your dream home should be part of the fun, so don’t try to rush the process. Many homeowners try to rush big renovations–kitchen and bath especially–and end up regretting the decisions they made in haste.
Take your time: live in your space, learn how you use it, bring home samples, sketch plans, talk to experts. Write down your ideas and desires, then come back and review them after a few months. If you’re still excited about your plans, take it as a sign to move forward. If not, you’re just saved yourself a boatload of money and a crushing ton of buyer’s remorse.
The easiest and simplest way to make your house into your dream home is to start filling it with things you love. Display your teaspoon collection, hang an oil painting of your dog, fill your powder room with ficus: just do what makes you happy.