Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
Catch my new YouTube design and decor channel, Real Life Design With Courtney Warren! I’m filming lots of fun and helpful content about all things decor and design!
Today we’re talking RENO , and I don’t mean Nevada. I mean renovation projects that help bring the best return on investment when you sell your home. There’s a lot of advice out there, dealing with everything from HVAC systems and exterior siding to attic conversions. But for you, gentle reader, we’re going to focus on easier and less costly updates that you will appreciate as you live in your home and potential future buyers will be attracted to. (If you’re selling immediately, I gave some good advice here about staging your home to sell.)
#1. Cheapest. Update. Ever. is PAINT.
If you paint a room yourself, you can probably do it for $100 a room, even with all your supplies. A light neutral is easy to decorate with and easy for any future buyers to envision themselves in. Light grey, beige and “greige” (a greyed beige) top the list of best neutrals, realtors say. As with other renovations that will have the most appeal to the most people down the line, don’t go over the top with any finishes or features. (But, hey. If you know you aren’t moving in the foreseeable future, go ahead and paint those chartreuse walls.)
#2. Update light fixtures.
Nothing screams “dated” like fluorescent light boxes and old “boob” ceiling fixtures. New lighting options look so stylish, aren’t that expensive, and are easy to install. So there’s no reason not to update lighting! If you want to take it a step further, get an electrician to install some strategically-placed can lights in the kitchen and living areas.
#3 Change out your kitchen and bath fixtures and knobs.
No, not the voice-activated faucet and $100-each hand painted draw pulls. Just as with lighting, there are nice, moderately priced options out there that will go a looooong way toward an updated look in those very important kitchens and baths.
But for your own enjoyment now AND future seller points, a minor bath remodel will one of the best bang-for-your-buck returns. If you leave plumbing where it is and just update cabinet, countertop, tub, commode and fixtures, you’ll get maximum impact and most money at resale. Ditto kitchen remodel. I’ve done these projects for clients and I’d love to help you, too.
#4 New flooring
If your carpet is new-ish and in decent shape, just go with it. Maybe layer on some colorful rugs in conversation areas or bedrooms for a designer look. But if it’s old, a dated color, or stained, remove it and replace it with hardwood, at least in the main living areas. It will be a stylish change for you and a big plus when it comes time to sell. Engineered hardwood is a more affordable option. And luxury vinyl planks (LVP) have some great real-wood looks which are very pet- and kid-friendly! (In older homes, you may have hardwoods already, lucky you. They may just need a refinish!)
Have some questions? No problem! I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation.
Email me to book a call time–and let’s start making design fun!
(And if you’d like to submit your room redesign project for consideration on my YouTube design and decor show, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “YouTube Makeover”.)