By now you’ve adjusted to your home being more than just a “shelter.” Chances are your rooms have become offices, classrooms, or the occasional date night hub. You’ve probably also cleaned out spaces to make way for this new existence and maybe even felt a spark of joy in the process.
Yay for you because there are easy, inexpensive ways to make your home feel fresh, curated and pulled together this spring.
Approach each room and ask yourself if you love every item in the space? If not, remove it (you can do this!) Less really is more. Did you know that your eyes want to rest on a clear space? In Design 101, we learn a clear space brings calm and can even help reduce anxiety.
2. Re-imagine the space.
Rearrange furniture to create a different focal point or sitting view. It might be as simple as relocating a rug from one room into another. A small chair containing books and a table lamp can make for a fun, new look. A simple change can create a fresh living experience which is something we all need right now.
Objects look best when displayed or grouped together, preferably in odd numbers for balance and rhythm. Have art? Create a collage on a single wall for visual impact. Need art? Etsy has great printable art, perfect to print and place in repurposed frames for a child’s room, office, or entryway.
4. Paint is your friend.
If you have an extra gallon sitting on a shelf, now is the perfect time to touch up any wall nicks or imperfections. Feeling bold? Add color to inject visual interest to the space.
My go-to is Chalk Paint. Easy to use, little prep, forgiving and provides impressive results. I recently painted my bedroom furniture charcoal grey, removed the heavy bedspread, and opted for crisp white linens and a luxurious European duvet, perfect for spring. You can use paint to re-purpose nearly anything.
Easily found in your yard, neighborhood, or local nursery. Fresh is best, but if you’re not a green thumb, fake it with faux. Add simple beauty with an oversized leaf in an interesting vase.
Bringing nature into your home is an easy way to brighten your soul. My favorite faux-go-to is the fig plant. It looks real, has enormous leaves and, when tucked into a textured basket, adds a pop of color and flair to any room.
The mood of a room can easily be changed with light. Swap out your luminaries from one room to another or splurge on a new chandelier. Consider placing your fixtures on dimmer switches where you can create a soothing space. Perhaps opt for a grouping of same-colored candles on an eye-catching tray.
7. Embrace the Outdoors.
Our enviable weather is about to warm up and for many, this means BBQ’s, lounging, reading or even social distancing with a friend six feet away. Take all this goodness from the inside and bring these same concepts outdoors to create a place to relax by adding graphic pillows and cozy blankets. Flickering candles add ambiance, as do solar string lights or how about a portable/odorless petite fireplace that runs on biofuel.
Now you know the little design secrets that can be used in your home. Borrow some or all of them to create your happy place. Kick back, relax, breathe in the new season, and enjoy your good life.
About Dasha Hervey
Award winning Principal Designer Dasha Hervey is Kitchen & Bath + Universal Design certified. She has served as Director with the American Society of Interior Designers and is an active member with the National Kitchen + Bath Association.
Awarded First place from the American Society of Interior Design in the Design for Excellence Awards, 2020
-Best of Houzz 2016 to 2021
-Published: San Diego Tribune, Ranch and Coast Magazine, Momstown
Service Area: From the Sea to the Sierras
Have you watched Marie Kondo’s hit Netflix series Tidying Up yet? Marie encourages her viewers to minimize their possessions and only keep the items that “spark joy” for them. Inspired by Marie, these organization tips will make your home life easier and can actually increase the value of your home.
Boost bathroom storage capacity.
When was the last time you cleaned out your bathroom cupboards? If it’s been a while, take everything out and consider each item. Toss any old or expired products. As for all those hotel soaps, shower caps and shampoos you’ve gathered over the years, donate them to your local homeless shelter. If your vanity has drawers, consider adding organizers for things like makeup and jewelry. You can install roll-out shelves or baskets in deep cabinets to maximize the space. As for the walls, consider mounting open shelves to store towels. A cabinet over the toilet can give additional room for supplies. All of these projects will give your bathroom a more custom feel, and minor bathroom remodeling projects tend to see a great return at resale.
Upgrade your laundry room.
Follow the same process in your laundry room — only keep what you actually use. Consider putting in a mix of cubbies and cabinets with doors so you can store detergents and other cleaning supplies. If you have space, a divided hamper or a nice set of laundry baskets can make the laundry process much simpler. Install a hanging rod or drying rack and a flat work surface for folding and ironing clothes. Let’s be honest, we all take a good look at the laundry room when shopping for a new home!
Fully utilize your basement or attic.
Basements and attics are notorious for becoming dumping grounds for clutter. First things first: do a thorough clean out of things you no longer need. If it’s not a family heirloom or memory, or if you haven’t used it in two years, donate it! Then think about how you can better use your basement space to meet your family’s needs. You could install cabinets and a table to make it into a craft room, or you could turn the space into a game room with a media center and ping-pong table. Add a cedar closet to your attic and use it as off-season storage space. Investing in your basement or attic will add more functional space for your family, but it can also deliver a solid return on investment when you sell your home.
Customize your closets.
I know, I know… I hate cleaning out my closet too! But doing this twice a year really does keep things more organized. Marie Kondo suggests creating a designated space for each type of clothing: high hanging rods for dresses and long jackets, lower rods for skirts and shirts, and shelves for folded clothes like jeans. Add racks for shoes, drawers for jewelry, hooks for hats, and shelves for handbags. A well-equipped closet can be a major draw for buyers — especially in Mammoth Lakes where everyone has tons of snow clothes and outdoor toys to store. It’ll make your life easier while also helping with resale value.
Install built-in bookcases and cabinets.
Built-in furniture adds functionality and storage to a room while giving it a high-end look. Custom cabinets can be used in a living room to display media equipment and provide hidden storage. Built-in bookshelves can turn an empty room into a lovely office space. But remember not to go too custom — a design that only fits your taste can be a turn off to future buyers. Select standard sizes and classic finishes to appeal to a broad range of tastes.
Equip your garage.
Believe it or not, even if they’re fortunate enough to have a garage, some people in Mammoth Lakes don’t park their cars in their garages. The space can get filled up with snowmobiles, bikes, wood pellets or firewood. Consider adding organizational systems to keep your garage organized — hooks for hanging bikes, firewood holders or racks to stack pellets in, etc. A small rack to store yard tools can clear a lot of floor space, and a workbench lined with pegboard can keep tools neatly organized. Future buyers will want to see a garage space that serves as storage and a non-snowy parking place.
Cleaning and organizing your house is no fun, but the payoff is huge. It feels good to donate items to your local thrift store (I like Second Chance Thrift Shop and The Cast Off) — the proceeds from your donations will go to worthy causes and you’ll have an easier time navigating your space. PLUS you’ll be boosting your resale value in the meantime!
If you liked this post, you might also like:
- A Seasonal Guide to Maintaining Your Mammoth Lakes Home
- 8 Spring Home Improvement Projects That Will Save You Money
- Home Improvements with the Best and Worst Return on Investment
Whether you’re putting your home on the market this year or several years from now, you should start thinking about resale value now. Here are a few easy tips that can put more money in your bank account on closing day.
Do Regular Maintenance and Repairs
Staying on top of small chores and house repairs will make a big difference. See our suggestions for seasonal home maintenance to make a plan for the year ahead. Regular maintenance can actually boost your home’s value by one percent per year. An added bonus to regular maintenance is that if you decide you need to sell sooner, you’ll be in a better position to do so.
Don’t Ignore Landscaping and Snow Removal
Owning a home in Mammoth Lakes is a bit different than in other places. With at least six months of winter each year, your landscaping plan has to be very thoughtful. Any landscaping you do should be done with snow removal in mind — don’t make it more difficult on yourself or your snow removal service to get the snow out of your driveway quickly. And with a short summer season, prioritizing hardy high alpine plants is key. Curb appeal is huge in selling a home, so make sure your year-round outdoor appearance is in good shape.
Replace Entry Doors
Many front doors in Mammoth Lakes homes are wood. This can definitely contribute to the cozy cabin feel, but switching them out for steel or fiberglass doors can add both security and insulation. Fiberglass doors can even be designed to look like wood doors. Fiberglass doors will give you the best insulation, but either one is a good upgrade. Regardless of material, a modern door will do a better job insulating your home than one from a decade or two ago.
Replace Your Garage Door
A private garage is a major selling point for a Mammoth Lakes home. If you have shared underground parking, your HOA will likely take care of any garage door improvements. But if you own a home, you can up your resale value by replacing the garage door. Bold colors that complement your home, faux wood fiberglass or steel, and large windows can all improve the curb appeal of your garage door and home overall and can boost resale value.
Insulate Your Attic
If you live in a house in Mammoth Lakes, you know how important good insulation is. While it’s not the sexiest selling point of a home, installing fiberglass attic insulation can save energy and garner a big payback on your investment.
Replace Double Pane Windows
Many Mammoth Lakes homes were built in the 1960s and 1970s. While some homes have had major upgrades that include replacing windows and sliding glass doors, many haven’t. If your home doesn’t have modern double pane windows, add this to your list. In addition to helping with resale value, modern double pane windows may reduce your utility bill by 7 to 15 percent.
Remodel Parts of Your Kitchen
A full kitchen remodel may be prohibitively expensive, but small renovations can make your home more buyer-friendly. Changing your kitchen’s texture and color using a matte finish and neutral colors will enhance resale value. Refinishing cabinets and switching to Energy Star appliances will also help with resale.
Remodel Your Bathroom
Like with the kitchen, don’t dive into a full renovation without thinking it through fully, but consider small updates. Replacing shower and floor tiles, switching out your sink or toilet, or replacing shower fixtures are all fairly cheap upgrades that help a lot with resale. Steer clear of current trends — choose a timeless look so you won’t have to renovate again if you don’t sell for several years.
Connect Your Needs to Future Buyers’ Wants
You may have noticed a trend in these tips — they all make your home more pleasant for you to live or vacation in as well. Think through home projects both for how they’ll affect your enjoyment of the home and how appealing they’ll be to future buyers. You’ll likely find that what makes a home more enjoyable to you will make future buyers happy too.
Learn more in my Ultimate Home Seller’s Guide. If you’d like to talk, call me at (760) 914-4664.
From summer vacations to winter holidays, every season offers a great excuse to put off our to-do list. But neglecting home maintenance can be a major mistake.
Small problems can become big ones quickly and may be far more expensive to fix. Plus, properties that aren’t well-maintained can lose 10 percent of their appraised value. Especially in Mammoth Lakes where the snow, wind and sun can be hard on properties, year-round maintenance is crucial.
If you spend just a few hours each season maintaining your Mammoth Lakes home, you can actually increase its value by one percent annually. Plus, if you decide to sell, you won’t have a mile-long to-do list to get ready. Here’s what we suggest for maintaining your Mammoth Lakes home throughout the year:
- Do spring cleaning (there are many great cleaning companies in Mammoth if you want to call in back-up)
- Clean, check and service any heating systems
- Check your plumbing to make sure you don’t have any leaks or clogs
- Inspect smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors
- For single family homes, inspect the outside of your home (clean gutters and downspouts, rake leaves, clear defensible space and prepare for summer landscaping)
- Drain or flush your water heater to extend its life
- Clean and seal your deck
- Remove storm windows and put on screens
- When you’re sure winter has passed, store your snow blower and snow shovels
- Adjust ceiling fans to run counterclockwise to keep rooms cooler
- Clean air filters and dryer vent
- Follow the Mammoth Lakes watering schedule for summer landscaping
- Prune trees and shrubs
- Do any big outdoor home improvement projects while the weather is good
- Check weather stripping around doors
- Sweep your chimney and double check that your heating source is in good shape
- Clear everything off decks
- Rake fallen leaves and re-check gutters
- Stock up on firewood, wood pellets or propane for winter heating
- Caulk doors and windows to avoid drafts
- Consider doing indoor projects in the slower season when contractors may have more time
- Service your snow blower and get the snow shovels out of storage
- Winterize your sprinkler system and drain and store hoses
- Take precautions to avoid frozen pipes
- Consider getting a portable generator for power outages
- Make a plan for home renovations and repairs (pick a room to update or a project each year)
- When the snow starts falling, clear it off decks and roofs as quickly as possible (the more snow that builds up, the more risk for damage)
- Tune up your skis and get ready for a fun winter season
It doesn’t take much time to keep your Mammoth Lakes condo or house in good shape throughout the year. Take time each season to make a plan for the season ahead so you know what’s coming up and can budget accordingly.
Read more about owning a home in Mammoth Lakes.