All it takes to turn your existing house into your dream ‘forever home’ is inspiration and creative thinking. People change. Lifestyles change. In Madison WI a forever home is one that works for you throughout the stages of life. Experienced interior designers adapt existing homes to the growing, changing needs of families every day.
You love your neighborhood and community, right? You have years of memories in your existing home. But, your needs are changing. With creative thinking and craftsmanship, your current home can evolve with your lifestyle by looking toward the future and building in convenience and comfort. Taking advantage of all the “good bone” your house offers.
The process of transforming your existing space into your dream home is two-fold:
- Get serious about what you really want and need in the years ahead. Make a list – or several lists. Outline the “must have” elements and the “dream elements.” Once you and the family agree on what the perfect house includes…
- Evaluate what your current home has to offer. If you need more room can you add another floor? Can you add an addition? Where can you gain the space and design elements you want?
Top Forever Home Design Choices
There are two often overlooked elements in Madison area homes that are the leading candidates for remodeling with an eye on long-term living:
- The basement or lower level. Lower levels of existing homes are often relegated to storage spaces. Some “finished basements” may reflect their age. Most are prime candidates for a major update and makeover. The basement, done right, represents hundreds of square feet of bonus space.
- Consider a “bump-out.” As the term implies, it expands a room or rooms and you don’t have to change the whole structure to add usable space. There’s no one size fits all and there’s no area of the house where it cannot be used.
Finish, Refinish Your Basement
Even older homes have basements that are candidates for a designer’s touch. In many cases you can expand your living space by hundreds of square feet. If you’re living in a traditional ranch-style house with a full basement you can almost double your living area! That opens doors to dozens of possibilities, doesn’t it? Was your basement “finished” in the 1970s or 1980s? Styles have changed a lot since then, and so have your needs. With forethought and planning, a basement becomes an active element in the family’s daily routine.
If you have an under-utilized lower level what would you like to turn it into? There are so many options it’s hard to keep track. Everyone’s heard of the “man cave,” but the space represents so much more than that. With the right design and finishing touches, consider what can be:
- An expanded family room, a comfortable treat to relax and entertain friends and family.
- A game room – where you come to play and/or watch.
- A home theater or media center.
- Your own personal pub.
Or, put your basement to work for you in the future with:
- A workout room with a treadmill or a complete home gym.
- An additional bathroom with shower – maybe room for a sauna?
- Space dedicated to hobbies and crafts.
- A fully-equipped workshop or studio.
- Have you adapted the “work from home” mode? How about a fully-equipped home office.
- An updated, inviting laundry room.
Expanding your living space with a finished basement has an immediate impact, including an impact on the resale value of your home. A recent Cost vs. Value survey from Remodeling magazine puts the average payback on basement finishing at more than 70%. A basement remodel is among the best home improvement investments.
Expand With A Bump-out
“If only this room was a little bigger.” Has that crossed your mind lately? Older homes in the Madison area reflect the style and architecture of their age. A lot has changed since the modern “turn of the century.” In many neighborhoods adding a room isn’t an option. Space is much too limited and zoning laws prevail.
So, how can you get the benefits of a new bedroom or brighter kitchen without knocking down walls or building an addition? A bump-out is a micro addition. You get big benefits from a relatively small change. You can bump out a wall a couple of feet or as many as 10 feet. Size depends on the physical structure you’re adding, where you want it and the outdoor space available. The major advantages include:
- No need for additional HVAC installations
- No need for full basement foundations – although it is an option
- Existing electrical serves the area
- You can bump out space on any floor
- Easy to blend neatly with existing structure
Where does a bump-out extension make the most sense? Here’s what interior designers suggest:
- Expand a kitchen – you cannot always knock down an interior wall to gain more room. Moving outside walls a few feet accomplishes the same thing. Add windows for natural lighting, build a spacious pantry or a breakfast nook without a more complicated remodel.
- Create a master suite – is your master bedroom and adjoining bathroom smaller than you’d like? Expand outward, even in a second floor master suite.
- Add basic living space – expand a family room with more seating or expand a formal dining room.
- Use natural light – a bay or bow window is the perfect example. Each expands the room without looking out of place. Incorporating efficient window seat storage adds versatility anywhere in the house.
Sort Trends From Fads – Forever Home Design Is Timeless
What’s a trend and what’s a fad? What design elements are short-term and which ones endure? While some of the hot design elements of the last decade have fallen from favor, many are becoming standards. That’s always good to know when looking toward a long-term commitment. The bottom line, however is simple – it’s your home, it’s your lifestyle. Do what makes you happy!
There are five concepts that have become the building blocks for most home remodeling projects and are expected to withstand the tests of time:
- Light-colored kitchen décor is welcoming and bright.
- Traditional-styling in the bathroom, incorporating easy-clean surfaces and open spaces.
- Accents in shades of blue and gray — in both light and dark hues.
- You can never have enough hard-working storage – kitchen islands, pantries, etc.
- Common sense traffic patterns – the open concept isn’t for everyone.
If you’ve done your research you know, the bathroom and kitchen are the top targets for remodeling. The kitchen has evolved to be the hub of family activity so an efficient, inviting kitchen is vital. Planning a kitchen remodel takes into account traffic flow, working room and the latest fixtures. It also includes décor – paint colors, tile choices and cabinetry. Your personal style really shines in a new kitchen.
Your bathroom is equally important but its features and benefits are more personal. But because it is where you start and finish your day you want your master bath to be both comfortable and efficient.
A Forever Home Balances Style And Function
When there are too many memories and good times stored in your home to consider moving, the future is a challenge, isn’t it? Life changes around us and it is hard to keep up. Well, there’s no reason to give up on your existing residence just because time passes. With forethought and professional guidance you can turn the house you’re in into your forever home. You can tap into the knowledge and experience of the professionals at DC Interiors & Renovations with a simple phone call or email. The DC Interiors & Renovations design team takes on these challenges every day. When you’re ready to consider all the possibilities for your home, make an appointment to visit us in Fitchburg. You can join us in person or electronically. We’re proud of our results and our newly expanded showroom of décor items. For additional ideas and solutions we’ve provided, review our online portfolio.
The DC Interiors & Renovations designers are available to help define your needs, applying the latest design technology to balance style and function creating your forever home in Madison WI.