If you’re going to make a new year’s resolution to welcome in 2024, then why not make it one that’s a lot more fun and rewarding to keep than the umpteenth promise to give up gorging on mince pies? Yes, instead of sacrificing your guilty pleasures, why not resolve to spruce up your nest instead? Here are some top home improvement ideas to help you start 2024 with a bang.
Let’s start simple. After all, you might be nursing one heck of a hangover after all those Christmas and New Year’s parties.
You could start by simply decluttering. Tidying up and storing away – or selling or donating – some of the piles of stuff you’ve got laying around the house will help to cultivate an anxiety-soothing sense of minimalism and set you on the right path for the year ahead. Investing in some custom built-in storage, like cabinets and shelving, might take a bit more effort and expense, but it will help to keep your house tidier long-term.
Now, what about finishing all those little DIY jobs you’ve started previously? There’s no time like the present! If there’s a wonky doorknob or a chipped bit of paint that you’ve been meaning to get around to fixing, then here’s your chance.
You could also think about how to make the most of those awkward little spaces in your home that are currently going to waste, such as under a flight of stairs or in an alcove that’s currently hosting little more than a lamp. Why not transform these humble spaces into a mini home office, a space for listening to music on your vinyl turntable, or even a micro gym for post-Christmas workouts?
Another cosmetic change – and a way of counteracting those January blues – is to amp up your home’s cosiness factor. Take inspiration from the Scandinavians and their concept of hygge by furnishing your living spaces with comfy armchairs, warm rugs and snuggly pillows.
Rather than change the rooms, you could change how your lighting system shows them off. Bright downlights with dimmer switches will allow you to toggle between brighter, practical lighting for chores or work and more subdued illumination for relaxing in the evenings.
Rather than the same humdrum lighting in every space, you could mix it up to give every space a different, but coherent atmosphere, such as a chandelier above the dining table for when you’re entertaining.
Updating your kitchen is always a sensible use of time and resources, since an old-fashioned or worn-looking kitchen can affect the sales price if and when you plan on putting your property on the market.
However, don’t feel you need to spend thousands rebuilding everything from scratch – some simpler, cost-effective solutions can make all the difference. Why not repaint your kitchen cabinets so they look good as new, or prioritise replacing the worktops with ultra-trendy granite ones? They’re much cheaper than marble but just as long-lasting.
Besides the kitchen, the other rooms to prioritise modernising are the bathrooms. If yours still have carpet, consider stripping it out and replacing it with a more stainless and practical surface. A home with up-to-date kitchens and bathrooms is a much more attractive prospect for potential buyers.
A feature wall doesn’t actually require very much work, but it can lend an entirely new and invigorating feel to a domestic space. Among other things, you can use a snazzy wallpaper, framed pictures or a painted mural to create this focal point and make a statement that brings your living room or dining room to life.
Floating shelves can similarly make a big difference with a minimum of effort. Their lack of brackets or visible fixings means that they help to cultivate a clean and elegant look. And since you can use them to store kitchen utensils and ingredients or books and souvenirs, they also serve a practical storage purpose.
If your house is older and still has some artex on its walls or ceilings, you might also want to consider replacing it with a smooth plaster finish. The artex look has fallen badly out of fashion, so updating these surfaces will help to modernise your property. Be careful though: if you plan on removing the artex completely, you first need to check that it doesn’t contain asbestos. If it does, it’s time to call in the experts to be on the safe side.
If you feel the renovating urge overtaking you once you get started, then why not try one of these more ambitious projects…
Installing a log-burning fireplace (or uncovering one that’s already there) makes for a fantastic asset when house selling – and it also helps to keep down those eye-watering heating bills.
Keeping the warming theme going, why not install a new hot tub and accompanying gazebo so that it can be used whatever the weather or season? It’s one of the most popular trends in home improvement and an excellent addition to a garden.
If you want to go even bigger, you could carry out a loft conversion. If we’re talking strictly economic benefits, then it’s worth knowing that a loft conversion can add up to 20% to the value of a property. But there are plenty of everyday benefits to a conversion, too – it utilises a neglected space, which can be turned into a guest bedroom or a home office with some of the best views in the house.
If you live in a period property with some interesting original features, then uncovering and restoring them to their original lustre is very worthwhile. Anything that can add personality to your property is a definite asset.
As we’ve seen, thinking of ways to upgrade your home by making simple, cost-effective additions and improvements, plus considering how best to maximise on the spaces and features you’ve already got, can work wonders. So, there’s no need to feel intimidated about embracing that new year’s energy and embarking on some home improvements. To find Guild of Master Craftsmen accredited experts in your area to support you with any project go to www.findacraftsman.com
You can get some more ideas for on-trend improvements here: