Getting the most from your home

WHETHER you’re keen to sell your home, attract lucrative renters or simply want to make your rooms look good before the winter sets in, sprucing up your home with a little DIY is a good idea. Don’t panic if you don’t have stacks of cash available or begrudge the idea of spending money on a home that you won’t be living in soon. Here are five low cost ideas.

1. FRESHENING
A fresh lick of paint can do wonders for a home. It might sound silly but it can dramatically brighten up a room. Rex Chalmers of Chesterton Humberts says: “Nobody likes to feel like they are using a lived-in, second-hand room, particularly when it’s the bathroom.” Repainting the walls and ceiling and putting in new sealant around the bath will make a huge difference. You should think about repainting your front door too, says Andrew Ellinas of Stanfords estate agents. “You see it everyday, so it will give you that instant feel good factor. Not to mention that it makes the house look well kept.”

2. REPLACING
New door handles, taps, toilet seats and shower screens may be small, but the quality of these can make your interiors look much higher quality. Ellinas says that choosing these in a new style can give your home a new look and feel.

And if you’re in the swing of replacing things, Savills’s Lindsay Cuthill says replacing old TVs for flat screens can make whole rooms look more up-to-date. “If you’re trying to sell your home, the best thing about this improvement is that you can take it with you.”

3. INTRODUCING
And there are other improvements you can take with you too. Chalmers says: “Have a little fun buying brightly coloured new throws and some extra large pillows.”

But be warned, if you’re trying to sell, Cuthill says expensive white linen is best: “You need to create the impression of a lifestyle that your buyer aspires to. Molton Brown products in the bathroom and great bed linen are exactly the type of luxuries that people would like to use everyday.”

4. LIGHTING
Sometimes simply changing the lighting in the room can make more of an impact than changing the furniture. “Having a variety of lighting options is a great idea – especially ‘seductive’ low lights. They are very atmospheric,” says Cuthill.

5. GREENING
“People underestimate the impact fresh cut flowers and plants the home,” Cuthill adds. “It makes a home look properly prepared.” Be sure to throw away dead ones though. All too often people cling onto orchids foolishly thinking they will re-flower.