In most areas of the country, home prices are still in a downward spiral. This means that instead of moving on to a bigger or fancier home, most people are choosing to simply stay put. The advantage to this is they don't risk losing money selling their homes in a down real estate market.
[In Pictures: 10 Smart Ways to Improve Your Budget.]
The downside? Well, it means they often have to put off their dreams of having a bigger or fancier home. Many people are maneuvering around this by upgrading or renovating with home improvement projects. After all, if you're going to be there a while, you might as well turn your home into your castle. But renovations can be extremely costly. Fortunately, there are easy ways to add touches of luxury to your home without breaking the bank.
1. Create Dedicated Spaces
Luxury homes have dedicated spaces for TV watching, crafting, and working out. Although you might not have space to give an entire room over to one purpose, by creating small, dedicated spaces within a larger room, you can still give your home a luxurious feel. For instance, instead of having your weights, jump rope, and yoga mat scattered around the house, why not rearrange the spare bedroom into a dedicated exercise space? If your kids regularly do homework in the kitchen, purchase a rolling organizer cart to hold paper, books, folders, and pens. Or if you have the room, add a table just for homework time. It's a good idea to arrange furniture in your living room and throughout the house to better utilize the space you have.
2. Add Quality Fixtures
Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a large-scale remodel, give your home a luxurious feel by adding high quality fixtures. For instance, splurge on top quality kitchen sink fixtures. Find artistic light switch covers, antique chandeliers, or add towel warmers to your bathroom. A top quality shower fixture is another good idea. These small updates can have a major impact, especially when you decide to sell.
3. Create an Outdoor Room
Outdoor rooms for cooking and entertaining are becoming increasingly popular. Maybe you can't afford a luxurious outdoor room with a wood fired stove and sink, but you can still create one on a budget. For instance, why not add a freestanding fire pit to your deck? Or invest in comfortable, high quality outdoor furniture, outdoor lighting, and perhaps a fountain? In this way, you can create an entirely new living space for you and your family without maxing out your credit cards to do so.
4. Create a Recycling Center
The good news is that most of us are recycling way more than we used to. The bad news? Our homes weren't built with large-scale trash sorting in mind. All those papers, plastics, and cans have to go somewhere, right? Add a little luxury by creating a recycling center. Purchase an automatic, hands-free recycling sorter which hides the trash from view. Or add shelving in the mudroom or garage to accommodate different bins for sorting.
5. Focus on Furniture
Maybe you can't afford to redesign your entire living room. So why not focus on buying high quality furniture instead? At least you'll be able to take it with you when you move! Furniture can run the gamut in price, especially high quality pieces. Check Craigslist and local consignment shops first to buy used second-hand. You can often find high quality pieces for a fraction of the regular price. You can also add small touches of luxury with the pillows and fabrics you choose for your furniture. Your couch may be a bit dowdy, but it can be transformed with a cashmere throw and a few nice pillows! Little details like color and texture can have a big impact.
Adding luxury to your home doesn't have to involve master suites, professional kitchens, or incredible backyards. Focus on small details, such as quality fixtures and furniture, and create dedicated spaces for a specific purpose. Surprisingly simple things can transform the way you feel about your home and how good you feel in it.