Whether you're looking to sell your home or just spruce it up, there are lots of ways to update your space. But which ones are worth the time and money?
Boosting curb appeal is generally a smart move because a beautiful exterior makes a good first impression on potential buyers; it's also the first thing you see when you leave and return home each day. Simple interior switch-ups (new fixtures, hardware or tile, for example) can refresh your rooms too.
To pin down some of the best projects to tackle, we tapped five pros — including a realtor, a stager and a landscape artist — to share their value-adding favorites.
A few simple solves can help a room feel notably more polished, which is why it's important to look around your home every once in a while as though you're a visitor; otherwise, it's easy to miss details that are feeling dated or shabby. "Like any other relationship, over time you get used to it and take it for granted," says Amy Bloomer, owner of Baltimore, MD-based home organizing company Let Your Space Bloom.
It's quick and easy to change your hardware, Bloomer says, and replacing your brassy kitchen cabinet handles or old-school wooden knobs on a dresser can modernize the whole room. Look for clean-lined hardware in muted metals or an edgy matte black.
Lighting is another update that can make a dramatic difference. Consider swapping out an ornate chandelier or floor lamp with sleeker versions or plug-in sconces.
When professional home stager Justin Riordan, founder of Space and Archer Design Agency in Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA, preps clients' homes for sale, he'll often take a "less is more" approach to furnishing a vacant space or reconfiguring the home and existing household items.
That can mean stripping out some decor in a family room. "We tell everyone to take down their window coverings and bring in as much light as possible," Riordan says.
Or it can be as simple as removing shelving from the walls of a basement. "Making the basement clean and empty so people can see exactly what they're getting will make for a faster sale," he notes. Another top tip: Play up the plants in your yard, Riordan suggests. "Put down mulch that's almost black to make sure your flower beds look rich."
— With additional reporting from Life and Money by Citi editors
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