by Christina Warner
As the holiday season approaches, many of us start scrambling. Soon the halls will be filled with relatives and friends we haven’t seen in quite some time. Hopefully, our sturdy walls will be keeping all of us nice and warm indoors as the temperature drops outside. The cooler weather can make allow for easier work, and winter is often an excellent time to invest in your home as less demand for services means less expensive fees for you. If you are looking to wow your loved ones with your beautiful home this holiday season, here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Increase Your Curb Appeal
Most people who encounter your home will never come inside it, they’ll just stroll by on a lovely winter walk. This means that the outside appearance of your home really does matter–particularly if you are going to be drawing attention to it with an elaborate display of holiday lights and festive blow-ups on the lawn. For those who do come inside of your welcoming doors, the outside of your home is still the first thing that they will see. You want your home’s exterior to be beautiful, well-kept, and inviting. In other words, curb appeal is a priority.
There are many different methods for improving your home’s curb appeal, from lighting to landscaping. It is really the whole big picture that matters. One option for improvement is installing new siding. Your home’s siding is the backdrop for all of the other details of your home exterior. It is the foundation of your home’s entire appearance, and you want to make sure that it is in good shape. New siding will not only make your home look shiny and beautiful, it is also very helpful in retaining heat in the chilly winter weather. New siding offers excellent insulation and can help reduce your heating bills by as much as 30%! You will want to make sure you seek out a fully qualified contractor that specializes in your preferred material, such as a cedar siding contractor or Hardie siding contractor.
Update Your Indoor and Outdoor Lighting
New lighting is a simple change that can make a big difference. With the flip of a switch, you can see your home in a whole new light! This is particularly helpful as the winter weather sets in and the nights become longer and the days become shorter. You’re going to be using your indoor lighting more and more often, so it is well worth investing in quality lamps, bulbs, ceiling lights, and sconces. It is worth looking into both indoor and outdoor options, as having a warm and inviting entryway on both sides of your door can truly make holiday guests feel at home.
One of the best parts of installing new lighting is that it is a fairly simple DIY project. You shouldn’t need to hire a professional for this one! Just take a trip to your local hardware or lighting store and find some things that you love. Warm hues are often helpful to dispel the winter gloom. Follow the instructions, twist a few wires, and before you know your home feels brand new!
Find Your Paintbrush
It tends to be a bit too chilly to take on gardening projects in the winter, so most of us are going to be looking for something more indoorsy. If you want to spend your Saturday making your home into a more beautiful, valuable place, a gallon of paint is a great place to start. There is hardly a house out there that couldn’t do with a fresh coat of paint. If you want to update your look, redecorate a space, or simply freshen up your current interior, a coat of paint will make a big difference.
No matter how hard we try, all of us end up with scuffs, scrapes, and chips in our paint after a little while. The general wear-and-tear of life takes a toll on our walls, especially when you have a houseful over the holidays! Choose a color that appeals to you and goes well with your home decor overall. Don’t forget to repaint your trim too–those little strips of wood can make a big aesthetic impact.
Create a Usable Basement
Most of us use our basements for storage purposes, or maybe we have the laundry machines down there. Few people, though, take full advantage of this extra square footage. Redoing a basement is a large undertaking, but it is well worth the effort that the makeover requires. Dream big with this space–you can make it into anything that you want.
There are many options for transforming your basement. A common, simple option is to use it as an extra living space with a rug, couches, and television. Other people use the space as an extra office, an in-home bar, or a playroom for the kids. If you are feeling ambitious, you can even turn the space into separate, apartment-like living quarters where guests or renters can stay.
Update Your Windows
If your home is more than a few years old, it is very likely that your windows have lost some of their seal. This means that it is easy for moisture to leak in. With the cold weather outside, it is likely that you are losing a good chunk of that expensive heat to the seams and seals of your windows. One of the best ways to make sure that your home retains all of the warmth that is pumped into it is to replace your window panes.
Replacing your window panes does tend to be one of the more expensive winter updates for your home, but it is well worth the investment. You are very likely to see a reduction in the cost of your heating bill, especially if you choose to invest in energy efficient windows. New window panes also regularly pay for themselves by increasing the later resale value of your home. You can also take the opportunity to replace your window frames, updating the appearance of your home to match the current trends.
Christina Warner is an interior and exterior home designer. She graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC and is working with SidinginVancouver.com to help them build dream homes for their clients. Christina loves Scandinavian simplicity and Italian coziness in design.