A new year inspires a new start, and that can also include ways to improve your home. A safe, comfortable and inviting living environment makes it easier to keep your other New Year’s resolutions. As many of us are taking this time to put our homes back in order from the barrage of family and friends this holiday season, take a moment to look around your home and make a list of changes you would like to see this year. We have 5 home improvement New Year's Resolutions for 2017:
- Use the Pantone Color of 2017: Greenery
The beauty of paint is that it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. The benefit of color is that it affects your mood. Pantone’s color for 2017 is a “ fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate..” Have some fun and paint just one wall in your kitchen the Greenery color. Or maybe a powder room or the front door. You could even update some old wood furniture with a few coats of Greenery.
- Tackle a Small Repair Before It Becomes a Big Problem
Save money and time with regular maintenance of your home. Keep an eye out for irregularities or malfunctions and correct them right away. For instance, if you put off fixing a loose or missing piece of vinyl siding it can quickly escalate to water damage inside the home or pest infiltration behind the siding. Preventative maintenance is just as good for your home as it is for your health.
- Make Your Home Safe and Energy Efficient
Comparison of Light Bulbs
There are several quick and relatively inexpensive ways to increase safety while lowering utility bills. Replacing all incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED light bulbs saves you money at the store (you don’t need to buy replacements anywhere near as often) and on your electricity bill (they use far less energy). Installing a programmable thermostat lets you precisely control temperature throughout the day so you’re not wasting money by heating or cooling an empty home.
Bolster the safety of your family by installing carbon monoxide detectors in the hallway outside bedrooms, the kitchen and basement. Recharge the fire extinguishers you already have and add more to areas where fires are most likely to start, like the kitchen, garage, or laundry room. Also consider upgrading to a wireless smoke detector system.
- Take Recycling Outdoors
Recycling garbage has become such the standard that designing recycling containers into kitchen layouts is not the norm. For the new year, consider taking the concept outside. Start a compost pile, so you will have your own, sustainable (and free!) mulch for spring gardening. And you can reduce your water bills and have healthier water for your gardens with rainwater harvesting. You can start simple with a rain barrel at your gutter downspouts, and dump that water onto your beds.
- Expand the Heart of the Home
Hidden countertop brackets used instead of bulky wood corbels
Because we instinctively gather where food and comfort is, designers have noted the return of the eat-in kitchen. You can make the heart of the home even larger by removing walls to adjacent rooms which creates a loft-like space that revolves around the kitchen. Hearth and breakfast room additions are also becoming popular. Pullout cabinets? Bigger pantry? Breakfast nook? A large island countertop with hidden countertop support brackets? New cabinets? In a sense, the kitchen is morphing into a family room with food prep and storage capabilities. Update – or add – a nearby powder room and you’ll have everything you need for your family and guests to be together and at ease.