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As if it isn’t complicated enough to decide what to remodel when you know you’re planning to stay in your home indefinitely. Or know that you’re selling in the immediate future. How do you decide where the balance is between making your home comfortable in the short run and doing too much? What are the wisest interior design and remodeling considerations?  

Many of the Same Questions Apply 

There are questions to ask yourself regardless of why you’re considering a remodel.   

  • Why are you remodeling? Presumably, it’s because something is preventing your family’s full enjoyment of your home or is restricting its functionality.  
  • What is the budget? Depending on the extensiveness of the project, don’t forget to add a contingency fund.  
  • What is the priority? What exactly is it that you need to live comfortably until your projected move date?

Interior Design and Remodeling Ideas 

Cost-efficient and Practical

If you love to cook and the kitchen is really dated or not functioning well, what would it take to make it work? While kitchens and baths are two of the highest-ranking projects for return on investment, the upgrades for short-term gain are probably more in line with a “getting it ready to sell” approach than a “this is our forever home” approach. In other words, upgrading appliances, making storage more efficient with off-the-shelf pullouts, adding an island if there’s room, painting cabinets, and changing the countertops are all ways to make improvements without the expense and inconvenience of a full remodel, making it a pleasant working experience for whatever amount of time you’re there. A refreshed kitchen is always a good investment.  

Dated bathrooms are unpleasant at best. A full gut isn’t usually the best solution in these circumstances. There are cost-effective changes to create a more inviting and functional space. Fresh paint, updated lighting, a vanity with better storage, new fixtures for the tub, shower and sink, and even a new toilet are budget-friendly changes that can make it feel like a whole new room. Most bathrooms are fairly small, so even a new floor isn’t a budget-busting project. These ideas are practical for master ensuite bathrooms as well as the family bath. Updated bathrooms are also good for resale.  

Controversial Interior Design and Remodeling Projects 

Let’s say the house is bursting at the seams. You would like more room. One possibility is to finish all or part of the basement. This is a really expensive proposition. One that requires careful balance between how much longer you’ll be in the home (what exactly is “a few” years?) with the cost and inconvenience. Professional guidance is warranted here. There are varying degrees of finishing a basement. Done “right-sized” and well, it can increase your enjoyment and give you a decent return on investment. It must be done in a logical way, up to code, and so that you have finished square footage in real estate terms. Done poorly, it can be an obstacle to selling the home.  

More Interior Design and Less Remodeling  

It could be that you’re just bored with your home’s interior. Fresh paint, window treatments and wallcoverings go a long way to refreshing the feeling of your home. Interior designers offer their experience and services to help with furniture placement, artful lighting and choosing accents, artwork and accessories.  

What NOT to Do 

There are projects that are not good choices. Here are a few: 

  • Updating a bathroom, especially the master ensuite, is a good idea. A luxury bathroom remodel is not. Rarely can the expense be justified for a short-term experience. 
  • Curb appeal: neat and tidy and low-maintenance yards are a joy to come home to. Elaborate high-maintenance landscaping, while attractive to look at, can create an obstacle to selling. 
  • Really custom anything. Items like paint, wallcoverings and lighting are simple to change before a sale. Very custom big-ticket items like floors, cabinets, tile and flooring may be off-putting to potential buyers. 

It is possible to create a space you want to come home to, even if it’s not your forever home. Internet resources like Pinterest abound with ideas, and of course, there are interior design companies that can put everything at your fingertips.  

 5 Home Improvement Projects That Will Pay Off in 2024 

 10 Home Improvements That Do Not Add Value 

 The Top 15 Home Updates That Pay Off 


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Madison, WI 53711