Call it Spring Fever, call it Pandemic Fatigue, call it “Come to Pappa.” No matter the energy behind it – home improvement is hot!
Whether done to increase your home value, or to increase your “quality of life value”, Design Lovers are investing in their home spaces in unprecedented numbers.
Here’s a recap of a discussion I had with a terrific client family of ours to answer their question: What are some home improvements we can consider for our current residence to really enhance life and home?
Popular trends and my recommendations include:
Garage Conversions: These are a hugely popular now. Moving the gym from a windowless basement to a spacious first-floor space with windows is a power-move for the light loving fitness fan.
Another popular garage conversion now is creating elaborate home offices, and home offices- for- 2, now that work-from-home is a new desire.
Tricked Out “Sublevels”: It’s a euphemism, I know, but just as “shag’ carpet became “California Berber” (true!), the sublevel is a.k.a…your basement.
Although that title upgrade costs no money, here are some improvements for down under that do come at a price, but may be worth it to you. Popular sublevel home improvements trends include:
· Games Rooms for billiards and cards, but also decked out with table games like foosball, air hockey, ping-pong, plus a few pinball and arcade machines. Add some fun seating and it is a play space for all ages. Even the home furnishings world is heeding the call and producing some grrreat looking table games.
· Home Bar & Entertaining spaces that take on a clubby, lounge feeling.
· Media Rooms with deep cozy sectionals and the latest media technology.
· Home Theaters with stadium seating (side note: these spaces should be shoe boxed shape to function well).
· Golf Simulators, however, these require adequate ceiling height or you’ll take out pieces of your ceiling with each swing.
· Wine Tasting Spaces. These can include not just lounge seating for tasting, but also an attached temperature-controlled storage space, complete with expansive viewing windows if you love displaying a collection.
· Yoga Studios/Pilates Studios: These are especially terrific with all of the online programs that are available now to take you through guided practices.
Tricked out Backyard Spaces: The sky’s the limit here, pun intended. 😊 If you can dream it, you can build it, or “have the guy build it” which is my personal motto since I still can’t use the glue gun I’ve owned for 20+ years. Here are “the popular” outdoor enhancements:
· Multi-level patios and decks
· Pools & Spas
· Firepits – built in, portable, or integrated coffee-table versions
· Brand new landscaping and hardscaping with specialty gardens, from 3 season blooming gardens to handsome raised bed vegetable gardens
· For larger properties: Tennis courts, miniature golf courses or putting greens
By all means, check with a realtor or design professional before embarking on an enhancement if you’re worried about investment versus home value. Costs for all of the above will vary by size, and the types of materials used – and the good- looking stuff always costs more. A good designer should be able to guide you here as well. And please check out our suggestions on “when to hire the guy” vs. DIY. Good luck…I’m cheering for you!
Should I “DIY” or Hire A Pro?
All design comes with cost. You pay for it either with cold hard cash or with your own sweat equity. To determine when to DIY or when to Hire A Pro, take this 3 questions test. Answer “no” to any of these questions and you should likely hire a pro.
1) Do you have the skillset and resource required to do this project yourself so that IF you had to sell your home tomorrow, no buyer would look at your improvement and think, what were you smoking?
2) Do you have the time to complete this project or will it become an unfinished eyesore?
3) Is your other half onboard with a DIY? (If not, it will be a source of potential stress/conflict)
About Donna Hoffman: A multi-award-winning Bucks County based designer, Hoffman’s company, Interiors by Donna Hoffman, specializes in new construction, renovation, whole home and full room design, delivering livable luxury to discerning clients. Seen in Forbes, Real Simple, TV and radio, Donna is considered a design thought leader. Called the nation’s #1 design coach because she founded TheInteriorDesignAdvocate.com, Donna also loves providing on-line courses that empower DIY’ers across the country.