• Dorothy Parker

7 Home Improvement Projects that Add Value to Your House


Hello dear readers! It has been SO LONG since my last post back in September. Well, a lot has happened, and I'm excited to share with you our experience in addition to hopefully doling out some helpful advice.


Today I’ll be writing about renovation projects that will improve your home’s return on investment. Buck & I just sold our home in Northern California and headed to Southwest Colorado to be close to my family and take a shot at a different lifestyle.


So I can attest to what worked and what you can hold off on.


Because, let’s face it, renovating your home can be a great investment for when you sell, but it will also improve the quality of your home life even if you plan on remaining in the house for years to come.


If you own your home, or any property, it is likely your biggest investment. You might be thinking of doing updates but are wondering what the best return on investment might be. Or perhaps you want some easy update ideas. If so, I have you covered on both fronts.

There are big and small projects that can deliver a nice bang for your buck. While you can go the full renovation route, there are some easy cosmetic fixes that can make your home enjoyable to live in and will also pay off if you are going to sell.

After years of working as a stager first and then as an interior designer, and having just gone through this process, I have seen first-hand what renovations will make the biggest difference when selling your home. Below are my tried and true improvements that deliver the best ROI for your home.



1. Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is one of the most important pieces to selling a home. You want people to fall in love at first sight and the exterior of your home is the first thing they see. Keep in mind that the updates you do should feel right with the architecture of your home.

  • Update address numbers with something clean and simple. Using spacers and/or framing the numbers will give them depth and visual interest in addition to visibility.

  • Replace the mailbox, these ideas from Etsy will be an easy stylish upgrade instantly.

  • Paint the front door and replace the door hardware.

  • Adding plants either in landscaping or in pots will bring some life to your home.

Check out the before and after of our home in California:




2. Paint

Interior and exterior paint can make the biggest difference when renovating your home without getting into any major construction.


If you're planning on staying in your home for a while, pick the colors you love. If you’re planning on selling, go with a neutral, current color pallet but stay away from painting every room white. It also wouldn’t hurt to add one bold wall so your home will stand out in the crowd.


Not sure where to start with picking colors? I’ve talked about this before but here are a few tips of where to start:

  • Look through your closet and pull out your favorite items, this will give you insight into what colors will reflect your personal style and then you can apply that to your space.

  • Check out the Benjamin Moore website for the 2021 color trends and also take a look at their interior and exterior ideas. I find this less overwhelming than heading straight to Pinterest.

  • Make sure to get a few samples (large scale if possible) and put them in different places in the room to see how different light will affect the color throughout the day.

  • Try to think about how you want each space to feel. Then take that feeling and visually communicate it into color.


3. Lighting


Updating the light fixtures throughout your home is an instant style setter and will help your home look its best for photos and showings. Having dim and outdated lighting will make your home feel dated and even dirty.


Now, I’m not saying you need to break the bank on getting expensive fixtures, just something that will make each room feel clean and updated plus energy efficiency is another selling point (more on that further down).


Similar to my advice on one bold color wall, one bold light fixture is a good idea to again make your home stand out. I like to put something unique and sculptural either in the entryway or the dining room.



4. Hardware


real estate, home return on investment, ROI home, curb appeal, door hardware

Once you have freshly painted walls and doors, adding some new and updated hardware throughout your house is another quick and significant transformation. Saying goodbye to old brass doorknobs and hinges with a clean and simple black or stainless is a sure way to bring your home into the 21st century.


And hardware doesn't mean only doors, consider updating the knobs and pulls in your kitchen, bathroom and any other visible built-in cabinets.


Pro tip: Make sure the door hinges match the handles you pick.



5. Kitchen


Remodeling your kitchen is a really great investment. In some areas it can give a ROI of 30%. There are many options when it comes to kitchen updates.

modern kitchen, kitchen updates, kitchen island, marble counter, pendant lighting

The easiest thing you can do is update the hardware for a fast transformation. The trick for this option is to find knobs and pulls that will match the existing holes. For pulls, it’s best to take one off and take it with you to the hardware store to match the footprint.


Pro Tip: If you have a layout that works well but the cabinets are outdated, paint is a great option.

Kitchen, painted cabinets, benjamin moore paint, pulls, knobs, granite countertop, tile backsplash
Updated Kitchen with Paint & New Hardware

Most experienced house painters have painted cabinets and know just what to do. You’ll need to empty out your drawers and cabinets so they can get the face sprayed. They’ll also take off the doors and remove the drawers and paint those separately.


This is a good chance to have them fill any holes from the existing hardware so that the knobs and pulls can be replaced.


If you are going the DIY route for painting your cabinets, talk to the paint store about what primer and paint will be appropriate. For the actual paint application make sure to use a good quality sprayer for a clean finish.


Also consider replacing the countertop with something current like stone or butcher block. Renovating a backsplash is also a good idea as it can provide a good focal point for tours and photos.


Of course you can completely gut your kitchen (or any other room for that matter) but I’ll leave that information for another post.


Check out the "facelift" renovation + process photos of our kitchen in California below.




6. Bathrooms

Bathroom renovations are another high return on investment and provide a similar yield to kitchen updates.

modern bathroom, home renovation,

As with the kitchen and other rooms, paint followed by lighting and hardware is going to be your default starting place. New towel bars and faucets are going to be the easiest next step. Make sure the faucets you pick are the same size as your existing pieces.


The sink vanity is another option for updates that don’t require a total overhaul. If you’re on a budget, Ikea is often the default but you can customize those vanities so they don’t scream “Ikea!”.


For this option, find a vanity that is sized appropriately. Now take a look at all the components:

  • Can you find a nicer faucet?

  • Is there better hardware that can be added?

  • If the vanity has a vessel sink you can swap that out as well.

More update examples, make sure to swipe to see the strange before layout!



7. Outside Space


Everyone loves having a nice, functional outdoor space. If you have a deck or patio in good condition, power washing it will remove untold amounts of grime for a clean and welcoming feeling.


Building a deck if you don’t have one is most certainly a good investment. And lastly, who doesn’t love some new greenery as the final touch to your yard update?



In Closing

There are a lot of easy ways to update your home that will deliver a solid return on investment.


The first place to start is curb appeal followed by fresh paint and lighting inside.


Updating kitchens and bathrooms are one of the biggest ROI projects you can tackle.


How much you want to invest is completely up to you. There are simple updates, full renovations and lots of options in between.


Q for you: did this post inspire some home ideas? We’d love to hear about it, let us know in the comments.

And don’t forget, sharing is caring!



Are you looking for help on some home updates? We are here to guide you through the design and renovation process, reach out for an initial consultation to see how we can help.


Xoxo, Dorothy