Whether you are updating your home to appeal to buyers, or just want to refresh and fall in love again with your home, you’ll want to keep these five places in mind where you shouldn’t cut corners. If you aren’t 100 percent sure of an idea, don’t do it. If money is tight, it is better to do one room really well instead of doing several rooms poorly.
Kitchen counters: Granite counters were all the rage for quite some time. Everybody thought they had to have them. They can be expensive and if they don’t really fit into your budget, don’t fall for the sales pitch to use granite tiles. Yes, it will be cheaper and you can still lay claim to the fact that you have granite countertops, however they will instantly make a space look dated — not for the material, but for the tiled counter look. In addition, they are thinner than actual granite counters and the grouting between the tiles will stain from food preparation. You won’t even have a smooth surface to complete a task as simple as rolling out pie dough. Look into the newest laminates. With today’s photo technology, there are beautiful reproductions of popular stone patterns. You can even purchase them with rolled edges for a great finished look. If you’re in the market, and have the budget, for the real deal — quartz is the new granite. Most quartz counters are man-made, utilizing the natural quartz stone with a binding agent. They are non-porous and, unlike marble and granite, require zero maintenance. No sealing, no stain removal and no worries about placing hot surfaces directly upon them. They are pricey, but completely worth it in the long run. So, if you plan on sticking around your home for a while or want the ease of a maintenance free counter, quartz is the way to go.
Flooring: You’ve invested in a great set of cabinets with countertops in the kitchen, a new vanity, tub and toilet in the bathroom. Don’t undo all of your work by using linoleum or vinyl tiles on the flooring. It is cheap, but unfortunately, it looks cheap and doesn’t wear well. Instead, try to glean more out of your budget by buying a cheaper toilet or sink, like a pre-made vanity. If you’ve already saved there and the budget is still tight, your local home improvement store has your answer. Inexpensive ceramic tiles from your local big box home improvement store will be your best friend. Many of these come in patterns that look like other stone. It’s more durable and better looking that vinyl and you can mix it with smaller decorative tiles with a textured pattern or even glass tiles, for a really custom look that will appear as if you spent more than you did. Since you’re shopping at the big stores, you can even wait for sales and stack discounts for even more savings.
Hardware: The hardware you’ll need to finish the updating existing or new kitchen cabinets aren’t always cost-effective. Quality knobs and pulls have a huge variance in pricing, depending on the manufacturing material and the detail in the hardware. A product made with artisanal bronze will cost you far more than a “bronze” dipped zinc base product. In general, you don’t have to buy from the most expensive line. Just be sure that the finish will last for a long period of time and try to find something cost-effective that has some detail in it allowing it to appear more expensive. Sure, a less expensive piece of cabinet hardware will feel lighter in your hand, but when will you have it in your hand again? Once it is installed on the cabinet, nobody will ever know how heavy it is or isn’t. The appearance is the only illusion you need to be concerned with. The more intricate the details, the more expensive it will appear.
Light fixtures: Light fixtures can make or break the look of the room. Don’t put up the most inexpensive fixtures you can find just to save a buck. They will definitely be noticed and recognized for what they are; an afterthought. While you don’t need $10,000 chandeliers, be sure you’re spending the right money in the right places. If you’re really set on creating a luxurious master suite, don’t skimp on the lighting in there. If you more of an entertainer in your home, skimp on the private areas of the home and splurge in the public spaces. No matter how much you spend and on which areas, just avoid the typical lighting found at your box stores that won’t have you running to Victoria’s Secret to cover up. They’re instantly recognizable as cheap and everyone has used them, typically builders or remodelers looking to make a quick buck. Can’t afford to splurge anywhere? Try checking out your local antique or reclaimed store for antique fixtures. Many can be repainted and rewired by your own hand for a look that sets you apart and that can save you money. You can also dress up your existing fixtures by covering them with an inexpensive, but good-looking shade. Search online for tutorials that can show you how a simple drum shade can dress up those “feminine” light fixtures we mentioned earlier. They’ll look like modern updates, but only you will know the “secret” that lies beneath.
Faucets: Don’t leave in your 1988 faucets and think no one will notice or they don’t make a difference in the overall look. You’ve gone this far, so finish the project with some quality faucets for a great modern look and improved functionality. Remember, in all of the above examples, you get what you pay for. Don’t pay for what you got. Inexpensive faucets will contain internal components made of sub standard materials that will wear out quickly in a short period of time. Save yourself the hassle and the future additional expense and spend the money where it counts on items like faucets that get used frequently.
February 20, 2012 | Filed under Decorating Tips, General Information, Projects and tagged with Aesthete Designs, Brownsburg Interior Design, Design, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Interior Design, Interior Decorating, Interior Decorator, Interior Design, Interior Designer.
Aesthete Designs is an interior design firm providing interior design and interior decoration services to residential and light commercial clients in the Indianapolis metro area, including the following communities:
Zionsville, Stonegate, Lebanon, Carmel, Westfield, Geist, Fishers, Brownsburg, Pittsboro, Avon, Danville, Plainfield, Greenwood, Eagle Creek and surrounding areas.
I hired Aesthete Designs to help me select colors for my bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room and office. I love the color selections. They really thought outside the box and created a gorgeous color palette that flowed smoothly throughout the house. I love the new finishes and I really feel like they listened to me throughout the process. These guys are great to work with, super professional and very responsive. I'll be using them again and have recommended them to all of my friends.
— Leslie T., Avon, IN