From So-So to Wowzer! 2


Not in love with your home and environs, but don’t want to move? We asked a home remodeling professional, an expert on creating beautiful, fun and functional fun outdoors spaces, and an interior designer for their top-six creative “fixes.”

Beginning at $10,000 for a bathroom remodel, Rayson Sanchez, owner of Valor Oklahoma, recommends six projects—all of which are on just about every “honey-do” or wish list—that will not only wow the homeowners and their guests, but also offers the most “bang for the buck” at point of sale if done correctly.

1. Minor Bathroom remodel. An average bathroom remodel is about $10,000, and you will recoup every penny and some.

2. Landscaping. It is truly amazing to watch the transformation of how different a house looks when you plant some new trees and flowers. You will recover 100 percent of your money.

3. Minor kitchen remodel. An average kitchen will cost $14,000 to $16,000, and you will recoup most of that on the sell.

4. Exterior remodel. 
Whether it is painting over some old siding or installing some fresh siding, this project is sure to return to the homeowner 90-95 percent of the money invested.

5. Attic conversions. 
Taking an empty useless space and turning it into a playroom, guest suite or theatre room will bring back about 90 percent of your money.

6. Major bathroom remodel. 
Take the old, and throw it away! A new master bathroom is priceless, even though your ROI may be only 90 percent. It is a space that you will enjoy forever.

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Brian Scroggins with Outdoor Escapes says that homeowners can add curb appeal and enhance their outdoor spaces through a variety of methods, many of them simple and relatively inexpensive.

1. Front Curb Appeal. This improvement can be as simple as keeping plants trimmed, beds free from weeds and adding additional mulch to the beds and planting some seasonal color. If your landscape is looking old and overgrown, remove all or some of the overgrown plants and get a new fresh landscape look.

2. Healthy Yard. Having a weed-free, clean and lush lawn helps with the overall look of your property. A good weed control and fertilization service can go a long way to helping provide that healthy yard.

3. Irrigation System. To help maintain your lawn, a landscape irrigation system is something that can make your life a lot easier and give your landscape the water required to maintain it.

4. Extend your patio. Increasing the size of a back patio to give you more space to entertain outdoors is a wonderful improvement to your home.

5. Cover a patio. Going along with extending your patio space is providing enough of an area that is covered and maybe provides a protected area. The shade created by a covered patio area also helps aide in helping keep the interior of the house cool during summer months.

6. Outdoor Living. Adding a complete outdoor living space can really add value to your home. Outdoor living amenities might include an outdoor kitchen, outdoor fireplace, fire pit, water feature, TV, speakers for music, or even a swimming pool to make your backyard a complete outdoor living oasis.

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“I hate to break it to you, but designers don’t follow a secret rulebook,” says Gia Rose, lead interior designer and showroom manager of Designer’s Market. “We are mostly creative types who love to imagine, explore and follow our own intuition. But there are some formal basics we know will ensure great results every time. Consider this a foundation course for developing your own creative intuition.”

1. Create a focal point. Just like a movie, there are leading roles and supporting cast. This is the same in design. Choose your star and make it the focal point, like a large piece of art or a light fixture. Let the rest of the items in the space take back stage. Too many leading roles in one space makes for a cluttered feel.

2. Change out builder-grade light fixtures. Those flush mount round protruding ceiling fixtures with a central finial that looks like a part of a female’s anatomy are doing nothing for the aesthetics of your space. Spice up your screen play with new fixtures. They don’t have to be expensive or match throughout the house, just make sure whatever you select coordinates with the space it is going in.

3. Add a mirror for a light, airy feel. Mirrors are not just for bathrooms. They visually open up your space, reflect light and generate good Feng Shui. Yes, I am bringing this design discipline back, baby! They represent the element of water, and bring the energy of refreshment and calm into any room. And what Hollywood starlet doesn’t have a mirror on hand?

4. Paint your walls. So your walls are the backdrop to your movie and help tell the story. And as you’ve heard a hundred times before, it’s an inexpensive way to spruce up a space. Add a fresh coat of white to that dull, tired trim, and don’t be afraid to use a bold or deep hue for an interesting accent wall.

5. Layer lighting. This is one of the most underused and important elements in any design. Professionals and movie sets alike build layers of lighting to create interest, intrigue and variety. If everything in a room is lit evenly, nothing stands out. Highlight one or two focal points, add ambient lighting, like hidden can lights behind plants, and use mid-range task lighting, like table lamps for interest.

6. Window treatments; need I say more? OK, folks, some hate them and some love them, but I am telling you now, they finish off a space. They don’t have to be overly ornate, or block out your view. Whether they are functional for privacy or just add a touch of softness to the room, most spaces should not be without. Cue, curtain call, it’s a wrap.