At the start of each new year most of us make those classic resolutions; goals for the next 365 days that will make us more thoughtful, more fit, and more successful.
New Year’s “Home-solutions” –Resolutions for your home in 2011
At the start of each new year most of us make those classic resolutions; goals for the next 365 days that will make us more thoughtful, more fit, and more successful. This year consider making New Year’s “Home-solutions”—resolutions for your home that will, over the next 365 days, make your home more comfortable, more stylish, and more valuable.
1) Redo your Driveway/Walkways/ Patio—Has that crack in your cement driveway or patio been driving you crazy for months, maybe even years? Now is a really great time to take on a project like re-doing your front drive as there are incredible deals to be had on a variety of high end options. Interlocking pavers come in beautiful designs and skyrocket a home’s curb appeal from “ho-hum” to “wow”. Stay tuned for upcoming issues of PREMIER where we will show you some of the latest and greatest options in pavers and custom concrete.
2) Live Green by Composting—The ultimate recycling. It might sound a little messy but composting is actually very hot right now, just ask celebrity composters like Julia Roberts and Martha Stewart. It is really no surprise, as composting goes hand-in-hand with the surge in farm-to-table dining and eatable gardens. The basics are these, everyday plant debris and kitchen scraps decompose into organic matter that provides essential elements for good garden soil, and you can do it right in your backyard with just a composting bin. This is a wonderful project to do with your children, teaching them green practices, science, and an appreciation for the environment. Make sure to read next month’s Outdoor Living article where our landscape expret Jason Jarvis will take us step by step through creating our own composting station.
3) Buy A Piece of Art— Whether it is your first major art purchase or your 10th, buying art is an incredibly personal choice. Collectors say you should be motived, mostly, by a love of the work even if it is an investment piece. If you do that it will bring you endless pleasure.
4) Invest in a New Piece of Furniture—You can go big or small with this one and have complete success. On the smaller side, let’s use an example of a mostly white living room. It may have impeccable furnishings and be perfectly laid out but still border on, shall we say bland. Adding a pop of color with an accent chair, or a uniquely-designed side table in an unexpected material adds life and personality to the space without taking it over the top. If you are thinking bigger, replacing a large element like an outdated sofa or dining table will completely change the feel of a room for the better. Since such a large piece sets the tone for the entire space, you can take your room in a new style direction by replacing this major element and adding a few key accessories.
5) Set your indoor lights on motion sensors/dimmers—We are probably all familiar with the efficiency and added security of motion sensor lights outdoors but their application indoors seems like a relatively new phenomenon. It was back in 2005 though when California, as part of their Energy Efficiency standards, began requiring that new residential buildings have installed motion sensors for permanent lighting in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and utility rooms. The cost of having an electrician install the controls and add sensors (the front entry and busy hallways are great additional locations) or if you have a pre-2005 home and need to purchase the whole package, will be made up in savings on your electric bill. You will be saving money, saving energy, and saving yourself from nagging your spouse or child to turn off the hall light. Similarly, installing dimmers saves money & energy and is a necessary affordable luxury these days to set the ambiance of any room in your home.
6) Dreaming about a home addition/complete kitchen or bath remodel—It may never get more affordable than it is right now to start a major remodeling project. There are financing options and quality contractors offering deals that haven’t been seen in years. For the price, the value to your home in the long run can be significant. This year we will introduce you to some of San Diego’s finest contractors and remodelers in our continuing series Open House: The PREMIER home tour as well as in depth articles on Kitchen and Bath Remodeling.
7) Plan for a Pool—Just read resolution #6 for all the reasons that NOW is the time to start planning this kind of project. Quality work at the lowest prices in years. If a pool is in your future don’t miss our report on Trends in Pool Design coming in spring.
8) Turn that spare room into the Home Office/Gym/Craft room that you have always wanted—Again, there are deals to be found on gym equipment and furnishings and this project can often be done DIY. Although the expertise of a professional designer is always worth it.
9) Get New Kitchen Countertops/Appliances—If you really love most aspects of your kitchen but it could still use an update, countertops and appliances can be the perfect upgrade for you. In addition to the luxury superstars of granite and marble there are some fantastic newfangled stone options available in quartz, concrete and even glass. New appliances have gone the way of the Jetson’s and offer the upmost in performance, economy, and seem to do almost any task at the touch of a button.
10) Make yourself at Home—This might seem obvious but make sure you take time to sit back and enjoy the improvements you make to your home. While they are an investment in the value of your property they are also for you to live better. Happy New Year everyone!