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5 Easy Home Improvement Ideas Approved by an Expert Home Renovator

5 Easy Home Improvement Ideas Approved by an Expert Home Renovator

The process of making a home your own doesn’t end when you sign the deed. In fact, that’s when the process really starts.

A house becomes your home once you customize it to your individual, distinctive taste and lifestyle. Home improvement projects can bring satisfaction to homeowners at all stages of the game: whether they just bought the house, have lived there for quite some time, want to increase its resale value, winter is coming, or they just want to be creative.

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Whatever the reason for the upgrade, one of the most important first steps is to take a good look at your bank account.

It’s important to resist the impulse to dive into a long list of home improvement projects. I spoke with a design-build contractor, Aquarian Renovations, a company that specializes in custom homes, to create a list of aesthetic fixes and budget-friendly overhauls for your home.

Here are the best home makeover tips plus clever hacks and ideas from this expert home renovator and increase the functionality, value, and happiness quotient of your home.

1. Start with your Door

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    Because first impressions matter, invest in enhancing the look of your entrance. Your door can make or break the look of your house. If you really want to convey a welcoming vibe to your guests, remake the exterior of your house to keep your visitors intrigued of what else the inside has to offer.

    • Consider purchasing a new front door with a vivid color and contemporary fittings or locks.
    • On the other hand, a solid door in good condition only needs little DIY fixes like a new paint color or switching out a new handle or knob.
    • For a more inviting look, spruce up the porch with potted plants, a welcome mat, stylish new house numbers, and outdoor lighting to highlight the beauty of your walkway.

     2. Brighten up with Lighting

      A simple tip from our expert is to use lighting to make any room look bigger and warmer.

      • To create a brighter and happier space, ditch your old lighting fixtures for new, modern lamps and energy-efficient bulbs.
      • A fresh light fixture over your dining table is a surefire way to brighten up mealtimes. As a safety precaution, turn off the power from the breaker box before connecting any electrical wires.
      • Update your existing fixtures to match your decor. You can spray paint your old chandelier or the blades of a ceiling fan to breathe new life to them.
      • To achieve the feel of a designer home, you can install a dimmer switch or cord to add more accent and versatility to your rooms without having to buy more light bulbs. You can use incandescent bulbs or fluorescent light with dimmable bulbs. By adjusting the slide switch, you can get the perfect warm ambient lighting you want every time.

       3. Power up with Paint

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        There is more to painting your walls than just covering them with thick layers of colors. Whether you go for paint or paper, changing the color of your room can also change its appearance.

        • No matter how small a space is, when you focus your home improvement plans on the walls, you can create an illusion of a wider and bigger room.
        • No room is old nor drab when you choose a paint color that adds a burst of brilliant depth to it. If you opt to go for a bold tint, use it to paint just one wall in a room. Aside from the fact that it’s less costly, it’s also a quick fix compared to painting the entire room.
        • If you go for a faux finish or a decorative wallpaper, a small room is a good place to experiment with fun patterns and designs. Self-adhesive wallpapers work like an easy-to-apply sticker, where you can peel the paper off its back and stick directly to the wall.

         4. Make a Statement with the Flooring

          Give your eyes a reason not only to focus on what’s up on the walls, but also to look down underfoot. Quality flooring drastically changes the overall look of a room – much like your walls.

          • Those hardwood floors hidden under the carpet are nothing but beauty concealed in a dark cave. Let them shine to bring out their natural appeal.
          • Meanwhile, hardwood floors that are not in good condition require refinishing. If you have the money, it wouldn’t hurt to invest on good sanding or refinishing.
          • For more eco-friendly and affordable options, choose bamboo or cork. But if you’re on a tight budget, you can easily update the floor space using the ever-dependable home makeover partner – paint.
          • If it’s time that’s keeping you from updating your flooring, start with an easy, fast fix that’s also decorative, like sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles. These will also make your space look better and can hold up to heavy use.
          • One nice-to-know tip if you’re annoyed with the squeaking sound from floors of old homes is to sprinkle on talcum powder and sweep it into the cracks to stop those creaking floors.

          5. Spice up your Window Treatments

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            Although you might not want to cover up the natural light coming in through your windows, windows are worth your attention when it comes to home improvement. Windows can make your home more energy efficient which, in return, can help save you dollars off your electric bills.

            • If you’re planning to build a new house, consider placing a window that does not face the winter winds.
            • If you don’t want to use blinds or curtains, you can just install shades in the form of window films. These act like room sunglasses and are an inexpensive way to make your home energy-efficient. At the same time, it gives you more privacy and stylish opacities and patterns.

            Featured photo credit: Yellow door, Turned on black torchiere lamp, Black paint roller, Person in black shoes on deck, Caribbean architecture door via Pexels

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            Jane Dizon

            Nurse, Ninja Mom, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer

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            Last Updated on March 13, 2019

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on the small tasks.

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

            2. Take a break from your work desk.

            Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

            Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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            3. Upgrade yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a friend.

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

            Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

            Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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            6. Paint a vision to work towards.

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

            7. Read a book (or blog).

            The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

            Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

            8. Have a quick nap.

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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            9. Remember why you are doing this.

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

            10. Find some competition.

            Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

            11. Go exercise.

            Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

            Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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            Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

            12. Take a good break.

            Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

            Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

            More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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