Upgrades – Get the Most Out of Your character
If you are buying and planning on re-selling or renting out, to get the most out of your character you might want to do some upgrades to give it curb popularity. The amount of upgrades needed would depend on a case by case scenario. clearly if the roof, foundation, etc, needs to be done, that’s without question. I am talking about major renovations, but upgrades. That curb popularity and that make a buyer go, “wow” and pay a little additional for the place.
If you aren’t going to work with a designer and you would like to do it yourself, I suggest going to the library or buying a bunch of up-to-date home style magazine to get ideas of what’s in right now. Knowing your market isn’t such a big deal because most everyone wants something chic and stylish. Something I like to call “urban chic”; a lot of clean lines, minimalism and bright open spaces. A Zen like approach. That look is selling to the mass market right now.
First impressions are always important, so the outside of the house needs the most love. Don’t go boring either. Chose exciting colours like grey/mauve, terracotta or sage. Paint everything that needs it, wood, railing, mailbox, light fixtures, etc. I’m not talking all one colour, have some black or white in their for contrast. If they can’t be painted, replace.
If there isn’t any landscaping or it’s shot, you need to revamp the look. Take out or trim everything that is overgrown. Be ruthless if necessary. Cedars are great when they are green and small, however if they are yellow and too tall, get rid of them. Keep the look short, so you can see the entrance way. Weed the grass if any, add more seed. Clean out the dirt of debris and weeds, add more dark earth and mulch. Make a nice clean line between the grass and garden. I would invest in a associate of bushes that contrast each other and some bright annuals that light up the front.
Floors are the most important. They make such a big impact. They have to be nice. If there is hardwood I suggest refinishing them. Staining them dark is always a nice touch. Parquetry looks incredible stained chocolate. It goes from a bad 1970’s look to something modern and Asian looking. If the floors need to be replaced, bamboo and other sustainable flooring are trendy right now. If the lino is old, change it. If you can provide tile, do it.
Kitchen. If the kitchen is an old wood 1950’s style, no need to rip that out and redo it and use all that additional money. Paint it glossy cream and add stylish knobs. You could already add a moulding.
If it’s white melamine, you could either paint it with special paint, or keep it as is. Sometimes it’s the surrounding area that can buff it up and make it not look so “melaminy”. Meaning, add a trendy tiled backsplash, a new countertop, and knobs. If the melamine has a 1980’s boarder that can be taken off, remove it for a cleaner look.
If you have the 1990 oak cabinets, they look incredible painted in addition. If the cabinetry is hanging from the ceiling dividing the eating area, you could take those down and reuse them somewhere else, like an island.
- Faucets are important. They can be such a focal point to the room. You don’t have to go high end to have a polished modern look.
- I think the investment of crown moulding adds so much value to the place if it’s done right (no need in the bathroom). Paint it glossy to give it a vintage look.
- Keep paint colours simple and light. Painting one wall in a room dark grey or another trendy colour is fine, however use minimally.
- Dark on light is very trendy right now.
- Make sure the flow of colour from one room to the next is there.
- Clean, clean windows are a must.
- Tear down a wall if necessary to give the space more of an open feel. For example opening the kitchen to the living room. You must verify with a structural engineer before tearing anything down.
- Pot lights and dimmers.
- Trendy light fixtures and knobs. Don’t go high end. Places like Ikea are fine or places that reclaim vintage.
Bathrooms are easy because it all lies in the choice of the tile and counter top. White tub, sink and toilet are always in and if they are in good condition they won’t need replacing. The cabinetry can be painted a black, chocolate, white or cream. It will update any look.