in 2016, homeowners spent more than $60,000 on renovations. It’s easy to see why. Whether you’re planning to stay in your home for a long time, or would like to increase its value for when you sell it, decorating and renovating can make a massive difference.
But how do you know where to allocate your budget? In this post, you’ll learn which improvements will make the most difference and help you create a beautiful house.
Ready? Let’s get started.
What Are the Features of an Ideal Home?
If you’re planning to renovate or decorate, it’s a good idea to make a plan first. That way, you can allocate the right percentage of your budget to the right improvements.
This means that you won’t risk blowing your budget on expenditures that won’t make a big difference to the overall look and feel of your home.
Here are the elements that you should consider:
1. Natural Materials
When you incorporate natural materials throughout your home, you’re bringing the outside inside. These natural materials include wool, cotton, teak, slate, rock, wood, clay, terracotta and more.
These types of materials never go out of fashion, which means your investment will pay off. Not only do they make your spaces feel luxurious, but they’re also much more sustainable and eco-friendly than other options. Hamptons home design does this trend particularly well.
Another great reason to use natural materials? They’re often the more budget-friendly option. If you look in the right place, you’ll be able to find incredible pieces for a super low price. And they’ll last for years.
2. High Ceilings
While many homes were designed with a standard 8-foot ceiling, choosing a higher ceiling can make your home feel much larger. The higher your ceilings, the greater the sense of comfort and well-being as well.
The National Association of Home Builders found that 65% of home buyers prefer 9-foot ceilings. This is an increase of 11% since 2004. This also means that if you’re thinking about selling your home in the future, higher ceilings can make a big difference.
If you’ve already got 8-foot ceilings, you probably won’t decide to suddenly extend them. However, if you’re considering adding on, this is a good time to upgrade for some extra height.
3. Southern Exposure
Sometimes, Southern exposure is simply luck. But if you’re currently searching for a new home, this may be something you should consider.
This is particularly beneficial in winter when windows facing south will let in plenty of sun- equaling free heat. In summer, you can keep your home cooler by planting trees along those windows.
If you’re someone who gets a little down in winter, the extra sunlight will help you beat the winter blues. It’s also perfect for solar panels, which many people are now turning to.
4. Indoor/Outdoor Flow
Not only is it enjoyable to be outdoors, but it’s also healthy. Being outdoors helps us lower stress- by reducing cortisol levels. Homebuyers are looking for this indoor/outdoor flow in the form of decks, patios, and outdoor kitchens.
You can often create this for a fraction of the price of an enclosed space. Adding a deck or patio will mean you and your family can spend more time outside while adding to your asking price when it’s time to sell.
5. Separate Spaces
While many people enjoy an open living area, it’s important to consider how you’ll actually use the space. For example, a separate master bedroom is one of the most important considerations- including an attached bathroom.
Your needs are likely to evolve over the years For example, many people like to have a nursery close to their bedrooms, while teenagers like their own space. But ultimately, some privacy and separation is an excellent way to make sure everyone gets the space they need.
If you have a single-level home, the best configuration will usually incorporate three separate ‘wings.’ This would include a master bedroom and attached bathroom at one end, guest and kids rooms at the other end, and a living room/kitchen area in the middle.
You may also want to consider incorporating a living space solely for the kids- especially if you have teenagers. This could be a great way to make use of your basement.
6. Excellent Storage
Beautiful homes usually aren’t cluttered, and you can achieve this by incorporating plenty of storage options.
There are some pretty interesting ways to do this. Your interior walls will be hollow- so you can use the space between studs for storage. However, you should be careful here as there may be plumbing and electrical wires.
Other options include beds with drawers underneath, spaces under the stairs, shelve-lined crawl spaces, and more.
If you’ve got kids, it’s a good idea to create one large stuffed animal storage box that can easily be packed away when necessary. Other options include slide-out drawers in the closet and hidden spaces under their beds.
More contractors and architects are using real-life common-sense design aspects, and you should too. Ergonomic design is excellent for people with disabilities, but it also makes life easier for everyone else living in the home too.
These aspects include wide doorways (up to 42 inches wide) to make it easy to move furniture from room to room. Replace doorknobs with levers, and consider a curbless shower so you can just walk straight in- reducing the likelihood of falling.
These touches also add value to your home, since they make it easier for older people and people with disabilities to get around.
Ready to Design a Beautiful House?
The above tips are just some of the elements of a beautiful house. While some are universal- like an indoor/outdoor flow and incorporating natural elements, some are also a matter of taste.
Ultimately, the best elements for you will depend on your personal taste and the way you and your family use your home.
Want some more home tips? We’ve got articles on everything from DIY to home decor. Be sure to read some of our excellent home blog posts today.