A Guide to Remodeling Your Bathroom

There are a variety of reasons that a homeowner may decide to remodel their bathroom;  they could be looking to increase the value of their home for a future sale, they may have discovered repairs that need to be made, or perhaps they’re simply looking to maximize their enjoyment of the space. Whatever your motivation may be, consider the following information before the hammer hits the tile to make sure your bathroom remodel turns out as successful as you’d hoped.

A Guide to Remodeling Your Bathroom

Which bathroom remodel projects have the highest ROI?

Before you decide which projects to tackle, it’s worth your while to identify which bathroom remodeling projects have the highest ROI. This can be especially helpful if you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future. According to recent nationwide data released by Remodeling Magazine, bathroom remodels can have as high as a sixty percent return on cost, while larger projects like bathroom additions return roughly fifty percent of their costs. The point is you likely won’t recoup every dollar you spend on your bathroom remodel, so choose your projects wisely. If you’re preparing to sell your home, talk to your agent about which bathroom projects are seeing the highest return in your local area.

How can I save on my bathroom remodel?

There are various ways to keep your costs down when remodeling your bathroom, but it depends on the scope of your project. If, while preparing to sell your home, you identify a handful of outstanding repairs that need to be fixed before you list, it may be difficult to pull off a low-budget bathroom remodel while still fetching a competitive sales price. Neglecting these issues can be a costly mistake, and in some cases can even jeopardize a sale.  

One way to save money on your bathroom remodel is to do it yourself. Identify the pros and cons of either doing a project DIY or hiring a professional. Though you may save money on labor, if you get in over your head on a project the costs can add up quickly, and you may end up having to hire a contractor to remedy the situation. If you decide to hire a contractor, thoroughly research multiple companies, ask for referrals from family and friends, and get multiple quotes before deciding which is best for the job.

Simple Bathroom Upgrades

As the scope of a bathroom remodel changes, so do its costs. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, a midrange bathroom remodel cost an average of roughly $24,000 nationwide, while an upscale bathroom remodel was just over $75,000. But fear not, there are ways to give your bathroom a makeover without having to break the bank. Here are a few ideas for budget-friendly bathroom upgrades.

  • Refinish Your Tub: Remove all hardware from your tub and sand the entire surface smooth, evening out any chips or cracks and filling them with epoxy. Once the epoxy has dried, sand those areas one more time. Apply multiple layers of primer and topcoat as advised and buff the surface to finish off the job.
  • Add Décor: A well-decorated bathroom can revitalize the space. Add a fresh coat of paint to the walls, install a new faucet and shower head, and match your towel rods and shower curtains for a quick bathroom refresh.
  • Finishing Touches: The right bathroom lighting can make all the difference. Experiment with softer light bulbs or dimmers to create a sense of calm and relaxation. Add candles, scented oils, and new towels to make your bathroom feel like your own personal spa.

For more ideas on remodels, décor, and all things home design, visit the design page on our blog.

Windermere Blog – Design

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What is a Cape Cod Home?

Today, the Cape Cod architectural style is synonymous with waterfront property, windy beaches, and vacation getaways. Known for its distinct exterior features and cozy interior spaces, the Cape Cod home has become an American classic.

History of the Cade Cod Home

The original idea behind the Cape Cod home was to bring a bit of across-the-pond familiarity to the early English settlers in New England. The design of the home was conceptually similar to an English cottage, except with certain modifications to fit the harsher Northeast climate. These homes were built throughout the region during the 19th century, then experienced a surge in popularity in the early-to-mid twentieth century, due to a renewed interest in colonial-era architecture and their affordability in a post-World War II economy.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Credit: OlegAlbinsky

What is a Cape Cod Home?

The Cape Cod style uses simple lines and shapes that recall the English cottages they’re inspired by. They are typically one or two stories, square or rectangle in shape, with steeply pitched roofs, shingled exteriors, window shutters, and a central chimney. The steepness of the roofs was designed to reduce snow buildup, thereby reducing the risk of a roof collapse from bearing too much weight. The characteristically low ceilings were meant to prevent heat from escaping, while the shutters served as a wind block against the cold New England breeze.

There are multiple styles of Cape Cod homes. The easiest way to tell the difference between styles is to count the number of windows on either side of the front door. If there are two windows on one side of the door, it is what is known as a “half cape.” A home with two windows on each side of the front door is known as a “full cape.”  Regardless of which sub-category a particular Cape Cod home falls under, they all share a flat front façade, which creates their square or rectangular shape. Over time, designers have updated the Cape Cod design to accommodate the needs of modern life, but their unmistakable aesthetic remains timeless.

 

Visit our Architectural Styles page to learn more about the history behind certain styles of home design, from A-Frame to Victorian. For more information on home design, remodeling, and decorating, visit the Design page on our blog.

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What is a Barndominium?

What is a Barndominium?

A barndominium is a combination of a barn and condominium and is typically custom built from metal pole barns or other similar structures. Due to the metal structuring, barndominiums require less maintenance than a traditional home. They are also less susceptible to deterioration and damage. The popularity of barndominiums has taken off in recent years due to their multi-functionality as a home, a workspace, a shop, etc. Designs can range from one-story steel structures to contemporary barn homes. Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”, aired an episode about barndominiums in which they converted a barn with horse stalls and hay storage into a stunning five-bedroom, two-bath home.

Customizable

When designing a barndominium, the floor plan is very flexible. Due to their uncommon framing and design, you have carte blanche to decide which layout is ultimately best for you. Choose to have an open floor plan with designated spaces for each room, or put-up dividing walls that provide more separation. Some barndominium models include energy-efficient windows, engineered concrete slabs, spray foam insulation, plumbing, high ceilings, and much more. There are several companies that offer custom barn home kits which include both the plans and building materials.

Affordable

Inevitably, the cost of building your barndominium will increase depending on the materials and the complexity of its design. However, most barndominiums are relatively affordable to build. According to metalbuildinghomes.org, many large high-end builds begin at $250,000. Other builders will generally charge around $85 per square foot for a complete build-out. On the other hand, a basic barndominium shell with a living quarters can fetch prices as low as $20 per square foot. A basic shell would include the bones of the structure: the slab, building, plumbing, metal or wood, electrical stub outs, vents, sinks, showers, and washrooms. Due to the simplicity of construction, a barndominium can be finished in a matter of weeks. The initial purchase price and the cost of maintenance are considerably lower than a traditional single-family home. Saving money on the necessities allows you to dedicate more funds toward personalizing the space.

Multi-Purpose

Barn Pros in Monroe, Washington explains the different uses of their customizable barns. As they explain, the uses their clients have found for their barndominiums run the gamut from primary homes to yoga studios, to barns for growing plants, as animal sanctuaries, educational facilities, and wedding venues. According to Barn Pros, roughly 40 percent of clients use them for agricultural purposes. The owners of these structures say that there is something appealing about a design that can be used as a standalone home yet has the flexibility to house something more intricate like a winery or a brewery.

Check out these resources to get inspiration from some popular barndominium floor plans:

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How to Choose the Best Flooring

Flooring is a key component of a home’s design and can often be the centerpiece of a renovation or remodel. Because it covers such a large surface area it will significantly impact the look and feel of your home, so choosing the right material can be stressful. Weigh your options before making a decision. Learn about the different types of material, assess your budget, and form a plan for installation.

How to Choose the Best Flooring

Room Function

How you spend time in any given room will help you decide which type of flooring is best. In your home office, choose the flooring that best accommodates your working needs. Carpet can be comforting while hardwood and laminate are more durable. Entryways, mudrooms, playrooms, and pet rooms will undoubtedly see their fair share of dents, cracks, and dings, so a resilient material is best for these areas. Consider materials that are strong and easy to clean, such as tile. The kitchen is a high-traffic area that is constantly being cleaned and re-cleaned. Explore solid yet easy to clean materials like vinyl, hardwood, and ceramic tile. If these common flooring materials aren’t to your liking, certain alternative flooring options may appeal to you, including bamboo, cork, and concrete.

Budget

Your budget will be a major deciding factor in which type of flooring you ultimately install. Are you replacing your flooring as part of a larger, full-scale remodel? If so, there may be other projects that will warrant a larger share of your budget. Are you looking to make the flooring a selling point of the home? If so, you’ll likely dedicate more money towards the material and installation. Talk to your agent about which types of flooring have the best resale value and what buyers in the area are looking for. For example, if you live in a climate that experiences cold temperatures, heated flooring may give your home a competitive advantage over other listings when it comes time to sell.

Installation

There are two approaches to a flooring installation: DIY or professional. Installing your flooring on your own is a great way to save money on the project, but it’s also a lot of added responsibility. Before making the decision to install on your own, understand the risks involved with the project and the time it will take to complete it. Vinyl and laminate flooring tend to be easier to install DIY. Hiring a professional will come with increased costs, but you’ll be paying for higher quality work that will increase the value of your home. More involved flooring installations such as hardwood are usually best handled by a pro.

Style & Color

After your budget has been set and you’ve decided on how to install, then comes the fun part. When choosing the style of your flooring, think about how it will interact with the space. Will the flooring be the focal point of the space? Will it compliment the features of the room and the surrounding décor? Knowing these answers will help to sort out the fine details, such as the specific shade of tile or the grain of wood.

Maintenance

At the end of the day, you may simply be looking for flooring that’s easy to take care of. In that case, explore common low-maintenance materials like vinyl and laminate. Vinyl flooring—whether it’s tile, sheet, plank, or peel-and-stick—requires little care compared to high-maintenance flooring such as solid or engineered wood.

 

For more information on home design, visit our Design page. To learn more about interior design, visit our Design Styles page.

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Windermere Living: Board it Up

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Windermere Living

By Naomi Tomky | Photography by Carly Diaz | Food Styling By Anne Parker

 


For an intimate gathering or celebration, or just to change up a weeknight dinner, charcuterie boards are impressive crowd-pleasers.

Once an innocuous appetizer, charcuterie boards are stealing the show as stunning smorgasbords studded with salami roses and a rainbow of ripe vegetables, flamboyant fruits, and sweet and savory snacks. Traditionally, charcuterie boards are composed of meats and cheeses—the name even comes from the French for “cooked flesh.” A part of French culinary art since at least the 15th century, they were considered the food of the bourgeoisie for hundreds of years before catching on with higher-end cooks. Now, they return to accessibility as people find ways to customize their boards and feature all sorts of spreads. Trays and wood blocks can be artfully piled with everything needed for a build-your-own brunch buffet, a vegan midday meal, or an elegant soirée starter. Boards tap into a host’s creative side as an easy, fun way to put out an incredible spread that pleases every type of person. “I love making them for entertaining,” says Amy Holt of Peas Thank You in Venice, California, “because it’s a centerpiece for conversation.”

 

Photography by Carly Diza – Food Styling by Anne Parker

 

At cocktail parties, casual gatherings, or before a sit-down dinner, charcuterie board–style spreads allow people to create their own bites and discuss what they paired and how they ate it—functioning as both food and icebreaker. The chameleon of catering, boards fit in as easily at a small family picnic as they do at an upscale event, while also giving people more flexibility than a set menu: hungrier guests can make almost a full meal of the offerings, while lighter eaters can sparsely snack. But the ultimate asset of an attractive board to anchor an event is the freedom to indulge artistic whims in building a creative, edible assortment. Expert charcuterie board makers from around the West talk about how they design their signature creative boards with both classic snacks and unorthodox offerings in elegant arrangements for family, friends, and gatherings large and small.

Magnificent Morning

When a client for her charcuterie board business requested a bagel spread for a bar mitzvah, Sylvie Stulic, of the Bay Area’s On the Board Gourmet, saw it as the perfect opportunity to get creative. Now it’s part of her standard offerings, and she’s gained knowledge on the best way to build a bagel board.

Functional Design

The big size and flavor of caperberries always draws wows, says Stulic, while she adds extra brightness with red sweetie drop peppers. “I love to include a floral element,” she says, which may be actual (edible) flowers or cucumbers styled into roses. One standard bagel fixing not found on the bagel boards, though, are onions. “They contaminate the other flavors,” Stulic explains.

Tips of the Tray

Unless the board is enormous, Stulic slices and cuts the bagels in half so that they don’t visually overwhelm everything else. She uses the halves to create a line down the middle and creates symmetry with the colors around it. Aim to keep the bagels surrounded by dry ingredients so they don’t get soggy on the board. For serving a crowd or an event, bagels work well because they are traditionally eaten at room temperature. But at home, she branches out, creating similar breakfast spreads for her family out of crepes, waffles, and pancakes.

 

Photography by Carly Diza – Food Styling by Anne Parker

Creative Colors

The rainbow platters made by Amy Holt of Peas Thank You in Venice, California, stand out for their bold use of patterns, whether as a fun fruit display, a vegan snack selection, or a traditional meat and cheese board.

Shop Savvy

“Start at the farmers market,” says Holt. That’s the best place to find natural-looking fruits and vegetables, like radishes with their stems and broccolini with flowers. But even if limited to a grocery store, she can look for the same effect with tomatoes on the vine and celery with nice leaves to use as a garnish. Instead of buying pre-sliced meats or trying to slice them at home—especially for small boards that only need a few slices of each type of meat—Holt uses the deli counter at the grocery store, which will cut them to order. Holt uses honeycomb on cheeses and tops a chia seed pudding with toasted coconut to add special touches.

Tips of The Tray

Bring variety in shapes as well as color by cutting and stacking the food creatively: put berries on a skewer, clip the grape bunches into manageable sizes, and fold the meat in different ways. Start with the biggest things first by plating any dips or spreads. Holt uses a coconut chia seed pudding as the anchor to her fruit boards and hummus on her vegan spread. Arrange foods in groups of three, and always use odd numbers, as they are more naturally pleasing to people. Use triangle formations to direct the eye across platters, drawing attention to the whole board, rather than a single spot or line. Finish by tossing a small, attractive garnish all over the board—berries, little tomatoes, or cilantro flowers—to add a decorative touch.

 

Photography by Carly Diza – Food Styling by Anne Parker

Edible And Upscale  

When the fashion industry slowed down during the pandemic and the events Rona Argana once planned dried up, she used her sharp eye for design to craft grazing boxes as gifts to send to her friends. That turned into For Love and Graze, her North Hollywood, California business that spins casual snack platters into eye-catching displays.

Ingredients for Elegance

Use the green color of leaves to signify freshness, says Argana. She likes mint sprigs in the spring, rosemary and sage in the winter. (Keep them well hydrated ahead of time, so they last longer.) Fancy can still be fun, and she loves to use letter-shaped cookie cutters and slices from a log of mozzarella cheese to add celebratory messages. Savory needs a balance of sweet, so even her traditional snack boards always include a sugary nibble like chocolate-covered almonds or yogurt-covered pretzels.

Tips of the Tray

Start by setting out a neutral color palette of the crackers, meats, and cheeses. Then bring in a limited range of colors, sticking to greens, oranges, and reds. Balance each color with multiple tones and items: use both olives and grapes for green and offset the reds from berries with similar shades of citrus. Most of all, Argana says, don’t forget the purpose of the creation, and consider the flavors as much as the colors: “Make sure it tastes as good as it looks.”

 

Read the full issue here: Windermere Living – Summer 2021

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7 Vintage Design Elements That Are Still Popular Today

Adding the right touch of vintage décor to your home is a matter of balance. It brings that decades-old, well-traveled quality that gives the spaces in your home a special character. A common concern with vintage décor is that it will make a home feel outdated. Fortunately, certain design elements and trends have stood the test of time.

We tend to think of vintage décor in terms of well-known objects, like shag carpets and Eames chairs, but it is so much more than that. Some of the most iconic design concepts of eras past continue to influence how we design our homes today. From features to furniture, here are just a few that have maintained their popularity with homeowners and interior designers alike.

 

7 Vintage Design Elements That Are Still Popular Today

1. Built-Ins

The history of built-ins dates back to the Arts & Crafts movement of the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. In contrast to the Victorian period that preceded them, the Arts & Crafts designers looked to simplify home design by working features into the structure of the home itself. The clean aesthetic look of built ins, as well as their functionality and the storage they provide, have kept them relevant for decades.

2. Exposed Brick

Exposed brick has maintained its popularity through the years, sometimes used to compliment certain modern design trends, such as Industrial, a common design choice for open-concept, non-traditional living spaces such as lofts. Whether it’s stripping away a wall to reveal a chimney or using it as a backsplash for open shelving, exposed brick creates a vintage lived-in quality. Its natural pattern and textured surface work well as either a focal point or an accent piece in large and small spaces alike.

3. Crown Molding

With roots dating back to ancient Greece, crown molding is both decorative and functional. It provides a visual transition for the surfaces in a room by embellishing the space between the ceiling and wall. It can also be a decorative piece for architectural elements such as bookshelves, doorways, etc. Although crown molding is a small detail, it plays a significant role in tying a room together.

 

Image Source: Getty Images

 

4. Marble Countertops

From ancient Rome to the European Renaissance, marble has been widely used throughout history in countless homes throughout the world. Heat resistant and easy to clean, marble countertops have become a staple of kitchens and bathrooms. Due to their large surface area and durability, they are often the centerpiece of kitchen renovation projects. Because marble is porous, it’s best to seal them at the time of installation to prevent damage.

5. Wicker Style Furniture

With origins tracing back thousands of years, wicker-woven furniture is still ubiquitous today. Made from the sturdy and flexible material rattan, wicker furniture is lightweight and weather resistant. It makes for the ideal outdoor patio chair or lounge seat, or the perfect rocker by the fireplace in the living room. A combination of functionality and beauty, wicker furniture’s popularity has showed no signs of slowing down.

 

A wicker chair holding a book, a hat, and a blanket.

Image Source: Getty Images

 

6. Checkerboard Tile

Checkerboard tile is a classic element of vintage design, often used on kitchen floors and in bathroom tile work. Designers have always found a way to incorporate this eye-catching black and white pattern into the latest trends. In the home, it can be applied on a large or small scale. If a whole kitchen floor is a bit much for your taste, incorporate it in smaller areas, such as a bathroom backsplash or a backdrop for your shelves.

7. Mid-Century Modern Furniture

The evidence of the Mid-Century Modern (MCM) movement’s relevance is all around us, but in the home, it lives on in its signature furniture pieces. MCM designers took the concepts of modern design—clean lines, minimalism, multi-functionality—and created sleek, interesting furniture pieces that blend into a room and make a statement simultaneously. Common items such as teak desks, Eames chairs, Tulip chairs, credenzas, and raised-legged dressers skyrocketed in popularity during the fifties and sixties. MCM has proven to be timeless, and to this day, its influence can be seen in homes everywhere.

 

A living room decorated with mid-century modern furniture.

Image Source: Getty Images

 

For more information on home design styles, check out our Interior Design page on our website.

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What is a Rambler?

The distinct “rambler” architectural style is known by several names—rambler, ranch house, California ranch. Whatever you call it, the rambler has played an important role in the evolution of the American home. From its spacious interior to its welcoming layout, the rambler is tailor made for a comfortable home life.

 

History of the Rambler

Originally conceived in the 1920s, it wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s that the rambler became a staple of domestic American life as the suburban boom reached new heights. The intention behind the architecture was simple: design the perfect post-war American home. The term “rambler” was a reference to the way the single-story design sprawled—or rambled—across the landscape, opting for horizontal expanse rather than vertical. One can imagine how fitting a portrayal this was of the American West—a home that allowed for expansive views of the surrounding landscape on a level plain. The rambler style was one of the first architectural styles to incorporate an attached garage into the home design. Over time, the rambler style began to take on elements of modern design and eventually evolved into split-level homes, creating rambler variants such as “raised ranch style,” “suburban ranch style,” and “storybook rambler.”  Even with these developments, the rambler has always stayed true to the theme behind its inception: a home designed to accommodate the needs of the modern American family. To this day, rambler homes are found in great numbers across the country.

 

Image Source: Getty Images

 

Characteristics of a Rambler

Ramblers are known for the flow of their interiors that allow for easy movement throughout the home’s horizontal spaces. The spacious layout, often times anchored by a central area, creates a feeling a continuity between rooms, a concept that was influenced by modern architecture. The wide layouts also resulted in large footprints, even though the majority of the homes in this style were constructed as one-story structures.

In another nod to modernist homes, ramblers often prioritized outdoor spaces for entertaining and gathering. This connection to the outdoors is reinforced by large windows and easy access to back patios to create a harmony between nature and the home itself. Similar to its distant relative, the Craftsman style home, it’s common for rambler to have low-pitched roofs and overhanging eaves.

For more information on home design, check out the Design Page on our blog.

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Designing Your Backyard for BBQs

Summer is the season of spending long days and nights out in the backyard and making home-cooked meals on the barbecue. Whether classic BBQ dishes like ribs and hamburgers or skewered grilled vegetables are more your style, these tips will help get your backyard in prime shape for grilling season.

 

Designing Your Backyard for BBQs

Some homeowners may choose to make their barbecue the focal point of their backyard, while others view it as something to accentuate more central features like a deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen. The grill alone will take up significant space, not to mention the crowd it can attract. With that in mind, avoid situating it in areas of high foot traffic, such as near the stairs of your deck or along a main walking path. You should also provide ample room between the barbecue and your backyard seating.

A simple charcoal grill is ideal for small spaces. It also allows you to be flexible with your barbecue setup. If you are hosting a gathering, you can simply move the grill if need be and rearrange your backyard to accommodate the occasion. Built-in barbecues provide a more robust grilling setup, while freeing up space on the deck or patio. Though built-ins are typically more expensive than a standalone grill, they are a hub for outdoor entertainment. For homeowners who enjoy grilling in the shade, or those who live in climates where it sometimes rains in the summer, covered barbecues may be the way to go. Pergolas, canopies, and awnings are all popular options for providing cover. Outdoor kitchens are the most comprehensive grilling setup. With countertop space, a sink, and the barbecue all within reach, all the prep work for your cookout can be done outside, right next to the grill.

 

Image Source: Getty Images

 

Once you’ve chosen the best barbecue for your backyard, it’s time to start designing around it. The right combination of seating will add the social touch to your barbecuing setup. Bench seating is a popular option for barbecuing on the deck, while tables and chairs out in the backyard lawn create more of a picnic-style feel. Installing a fire pit will bring an added element to you outdoor entertaining, helping to make the transition from an afternoon or evening barbecue into a night spent under the stars. Experiment with different fire pit styles to match the surrounding elements of your backyard. For those with built-in barbecues and outdoor kitchens, consider matching your fire pit’s stonework to tie the backyard together.

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7 Weekend Home Projects

So many projects, so little time. That tends to be the mantra for homeowners with an ever-growing to-do list and limited availability to accomplish their tasks. Fortunately, the weekend is an opportunity to dig into certain projects and see them to their completion by the time the weekdays come around again. These seven weekend home projects can be accomplished within a couple of days and will make a dent in your to-do list.

 

1. Upgrade Your Kitchen Cabinets

Giving your kitchen cabinets a facelift is a simple way to give your kitchen a makeover. When staining wood cabinets, begin by removing the cabinet doors and hardware, then wipe the doors to clear away and dust and dirt. After applying and removing wood stripper, sand the doors to get them primed and ready for a new stain. When painting cabinets, choose a color that works well with your appliances. As you pack up the contents of the cabinets keep your most frequently used items nearby so you can access them during your  project. To add a finishing touch to your weekend cabinet makeover, shop around for new hardware and drawer inserts.

Image Source: Getty Images

2. Refresh Your Front Entry

Your home’s front entry is the key to making a lasting first impression and helps to enhance your curb appeal. Make a statement by giving your front door a fresh coat of boldly colored paint, look for stylish house numbers, and add classic front entry elements like a sitting bench or swing for ultimate comfort.

 

3. Improve Your Home Office

Whether you work remotely or in person, much can be done in a weekend to improve the functionality of your home office. Creating an environment conducive to your productivity helps to separate your office from the rest of your home, maintaining a balance between your work life and your home life. Situate your desk near a window to attract natural light. If the room has no windows, orient your seating so you’re facing the open space of the room. Experiment with therapy lights, ergonomic chairs, and soothing décor to make your office as comfortable as can be.

 

4. Curate Your Bathroom

In one weekend your bathroom can be transformed into a sanctuary of self-care. Refinishing your tub is a cost-effective alternative to a replacement. Start by removing any and all hardware, then sand the whole surface, filling in any cracks or holes with putty. Once you’ve sanded down the putty, apply multiple layers of primer and topcoat following the manufacturer’s instructions and buff the surface. Replace your vanity’s cabinet hardware and drawer pulls, matching them with your shower rod, faucet and shower head to tie the room together. Switch out your shower curtain and carpets for bold colors to liven up the space or choose neutral tones to create an organic feel.

 

A bathroom with a dark blue vanity, white walls, and white tile.

Image Source: Getty Images

5. Organize Room-By-Room

Spending a weekend organizing each room of the house is sure to make a big difference in the look and feel of your home. Bookcases and coffee tables are magnets for clutter in the living room. Start by emptying everything and sort the items into three piles: keep, dispose, donate, (this method of organization will do wonders for your closets and bedroom as well), and invest in storage bins to keep the space tidy. In the bathroom, organize the medicine cabinet and vanity drawers first. Get rid of expired medication, makeup, and toiletries. Take the same approach to your shower. Once you’ve gone through everything, reassess your shower shelving to fit your newly organized inventory. After working your way through your kitchen cabinets, consider either a hanging or wall-mounted pot and pan rack to save space.

 

6. Fix Up Your Fence

Whether your fence needs a simple wash, a new sealant or stain, or repair, tending to it will freshen up your yard while also extending the life of your fence. Power washers are a helpful tool in getting your fence clean before re-staining, but a sprayer that’s too powerful could damage the wood. Let the fence dry for one to two days before applying the stain. As long as any damage that needs repair is contained to a section of the fence, a weekend should be plenty of time to get it fixed. To replace any damaged rails, pry them off their posts with a crowbar or cut the damaged section out with a handsaw. When repairing fence posts, be sure to remove any rails that are connected to it.

 

7. Build a Firepit

Common firepit materials include brick, stone, or cinder blocks. Outline your firepit before you start digging. Once the hole is dug six to eight inches deep, fill in the hole with gravel until it is level with the ground. Choose your materials, fix the stones into the ground, compact them together, and enjoy your time by the fire. Check for local burn bans or regulations.

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Renovating Your Short-Term Rental

Renovating your short-term rental property will not only keep it in peak condition but will also help it stand out to potential renters. Completing remodeling projects with the goal of increasing the return on your investment is a matter of identifying which renovations make sense for the home, putting together a plan, and taking steps to minimize the risk of the projects going over budget.

 

Start with Repairs

Because rental properties are by nature a source of income, it’s worth your while as the homeowner to reduce maintenance costs wherever possible. This can often mean spending money in the short term on repairs and replacements in order to save money down the road. Furthermore, by upgrading your appliances, fixing leaks, and updating any outdated features, you will provide the most accommodating environment for your renters. Making these improvements can also help set your rental apart from other properties, giving you a competitive advantage in the market. As you go about making repairs, don’t forget to check the working condition of all faucets, electrical outlets, and lights.

 

Renovating Your Rental

Understanding the scope of your renovations and the motivation behind them before you get started will help formulate your plan moving forward. Are you looking to upgrade the home to sell it in the future? Are you renovating to increase rent? Or are you simply looking to be more competitive in the local rental market? Knowing the answers to these questions won’t necessarily change your renovation plans, but it will provide guidance as you enter the remodeling phase. Consider talking to your Windermere agent about how different projects may affect the value of the property.

Even a small-scale renovation can make a big difference in the minds of renters. To create the best first impression from the get-go, consider boosting your home’s curb appeal. Projects like exterior painting, refinishing a deck, and power washing your siding and walkways will help provide an inviting outdoor setting for your renters.

When it comes to interior renovations, kitchens are a great place to start. Thankfully, kitchen makeovers can be simple. Identify the areas of your kitchen that need repair first, then expand your project list from there. Next, consider upgrading the bathroom. Begin by checking your pipes, drains, and p-traps for any signs of wear and tear. Simple things like painting the vanity and updating the bathroom hardware can also make a big impact.

Last but not least, if you decide to hire a professional to renovate your rental property, be sure to gather multiple bids and compare prices before making your final decision.

Learn more about the pros and cons of investing in vacation rentals here: Vacation Home or Income-Producing Investment. You can also read about vacation home renovations by season here: Renovating Your Vacation Home.

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