21 May 2021

Since the Covid pandemic hit last March, just about everything in the home industry has changed; from decorating to buying. Everyone was stuck inside their homes for a good chunk of time, and we all took a good look at our living situations; realizing that we want to change some things up and really invest in making our homes a beautiful, functional space to live in.

Within the last year, the desire for home remodels has skyrocketed and homeowners have decided that it’s finally time to hop to it and make those home improvements that they’ve been dreaming about for years. Oh, and let’s not forget about the bazillions of people who decided to sell their house and find a new place to call home (welcome to Austin everyone!). Whether you’re trying to update your current home to make it more livable for you and your family, or you’re doing it to get that sucker sold so that you can move, you have to understand what’s worth renovating and how to invest where it really matters. We’ve summed up our tips and the ‘dos and don’ts’ for updating your home.

Do: Kitchens + Bathrooms

Outdated or dysfunctional kitchens and bathrooms are the biggest deal breakers in the books when it comes to purchasing a house. If you’re trying to determine where to invest your money in your home, I would definitely prioritize the kitchen and bathrooms. I recommend remodeling all of the bathrooms so that they’re cohesive throughout, but if you don’t have it in your budget to do it all at once, then start with the primary and powder bathroom, as these are the key spaces that people look into when visiting a home. 

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Design by Lindye Galloway | Photography by Chad Mellon

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Design by BANDD Design | Photography by Molly Culver

Something to keep in mind if you’re planning on selling your home (even if that isn’t right now, ask yourself if it is your forever home) is the selections that you’re making. Kitchens and bathrooms aren’t easy to change up, so when choosing the backsplash tile, countertops, cabinetry style, and colors, go for a more timeless look that will stay in style for years to come. This doesn’t mean that you have to use an all white palette throughout, but don’t try to incorporate trends that you’ve seen on Pinterest like busy mosaic backsplashes or minimalist open shelving. 

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Design by BANDD Design | Photography by Molly Culver

Don’t: Skimp on Quality For Budget or Timeline

This applies for both the materials and labor for your renovation. Even if you are planning on selling instead of transforming it into your forever home, quality still matters. Let’s say that you get a bid from a contractor and the cost seems too high or they can’t start the work for a few months. This does not mean that it’s time to DIY something that you know nothing about, and even if you do have knowledge on it, I’d still get a professional involved to overlook the plans. Beautiful spaces don’t just happen overnight, so be patient if the process takes longer than anticipated or if you need time to save up for it – the final result is so worth it in the end. 

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Design by Ginny Macdonald | Photography by Sarah Tramp

Do: Curb Appeal

The presentation of your front lawn is crucial for setting a positive tone for the rest of the home, especially if you’re looking to sell. This is the first impression that anyone gets when arriving at the property. Updating the front of your house can be inexpensive depending on all that you’d like to change. First, let’s start by talking about the exterior of your home. Could it use a fresh coat of paint to liven it up? Are the windows in good shape? These are both major things to consider. Then comes the landscaping – cleaning up your grass and shrubbery is a must. But also consider framing your home with more decorative touches, such as tall planters and florals.

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Design by Rosa Beltran | Photography by Chad Mellon

Don’t: Forget About Function

Having a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing space isn’t the only thing that you should focus on. It also has to be functional and cover the essentials of living. Consider the flow of each space. Does it have enough storage? Does the layout make sense for how one works in the space? Is the lighting planned properly? Would SmartHome technology help make things easier? 

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Design by Emily Henderson | Photography by Sarah Tramp

Do: Consider Updating Appliances

Depending on the kind of person that you are, shopping for appliances might sound like the least exciting part in the grand scheme of home updating, but it is definitely one of the most important. And I’m not just talking about the refrigerator and oven, though these are very important as well. Things such as a new HVAC system can make an incredible difference in the value of your home, since it saves energy and money in the end. 

Kitchen Angle Toward Powder Rm

Design by BANDD Design | Photography by Ryann Ford

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