I’m sure we’ve all had it happen. You walk into a store and see the merchandise beautifully displayed, and imagine how nice it would be to have an unlimited budget so you can have it all. How do you choose from so many options and stay within your budget?
Many homeowners face the same dilemma when visiting a decor centre to select finishes for their new home. These days, it is even more important to invest wisely and maximize the mileage you get from your hard-earned income. You want to make the most of the opportunity to finish your home, and do it right. Investing in quality will give you many years of enjoyment, but keeping the pocketbook in mind is also a reality. Here are some tips for stretching your upgrade dollars and creating a high impact look:
Entranceway: We all know that an attractive entrance to a home makes a great first impression. For a relatively small investment, details such as door hardware (for inside and out), decorative light fixtures, and glass door inserts can add huge curb appeal. A larger glass insert for the door also lets in more natural light.
Flooring: Few can resist the appeal of a gleaming hardwood floor. There’s no doubt that it adds enduring luxury and character to any home. However, if it is cost prohibitive to add it throughout your home, consider it in highly visible areas such as principal rooms (e.g. living/dining room) and hallways. You can still have the elegance and shine in key areas where you will appreciate it the most.
You can add a touch of class by upgrading the flooring in areas you want to emphasize. Marble or granite for a small area is surprisingly affordable. Or, use a standard tile and have it installed on the diagonal. It’s surprising how one small change can enhance the overall look. This is especially effective in a powder room or foyer.
Powder Room: This is a small space that can really be dressed up. Just as you would accessorize an outfit, you can add details to a powder room that will give it the “wow factor” without breaking the bank. Faucets, mirrors, accessories (towel bars and paper holders) and light fixtures can change the look of the room dramatically. Pick a theme and be consistent throughout.
Kitchen backsplash: I like to consider this the “artwork of the kitchen.” Glass, stone and metal are all a big hit, in sizes varying from mini-mosaic and subway style to larger tiles and mixed colours. Even a basic neutral kitchen can have a dramatic focal point. This is an opportunity to take a risk, express your personality and add a “hit” of colour and texture.
Lighting: Electrical outlets for future light fixtures such as pendant lights in the kitchen or wall sconces in a bedroom and dining room are a must. A few well-placed pot lights and undermount lighting in the kitchen are other popular items. Lighting is a key element in any room, and it improves the function as well as ambience. Don’t forget that electrical work done by the builder is covered under warranty — better to have it done pre-drywall and properly.
Your home is a safe long-term investment. Make the most of it, stay within your means, and enjoy the wise choices you have made.