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Striking the Perfect Balance: Designing Your Home for Comfort and Future Value

by Evelyn Long

Should you focus on beautifying your home when remodeling or is it better to consider the return on investment? This conflicting view often throws homeowners off balance because everything boils down to budget. It’s choosing between an affordable upgrade that increases curb appeal or a premium one that multiplies the resale value.

Fortunately, you can strike a balance between the two. Delve into how you can design your home in a way that feels good without compromising comfort.

modern home curb appeal with wooden accent in sunset

Why Consider Personal Touches

One mistake people make when upgrading their property is putting aside their personal taste and style in favor of a higher return on investment. Compromises on either one have a negative impact, so finding the right balance is important.

One mistake people make when upgrading their property is putting aside their personal taste and style in favor of a higher return on investment.

Your home should possess characteristics influenced by your personal style, taste and identity. It's similar to how you feel welcomed when you enter your favorite coffee shop because of the ambiance or how you find it hard to sleep at a hotel because of its unfamiliar atmosphere.

You can design your home to make a positive impact. Carefully choose the decorations, accents and other interior elements. For instance, a cozy living room will assume soft colors and textures, warm lighting, comfortable furniture and wall decor. Complementing styles include farmhouse, rustic, traditional and cottage. Adding a personal flair to a remodel is important since it injects personality into your space and breathes life into it.

How to Know if an Upgrade Can Drive ROI

One way to determine if your planned upgrade will up the home's value is to conduct a comparative market analysis. Find a similar house to yours in the neighborhood and compare the features — like curb appeal and landscape — to identify and apply what you're missing.

Alternatively, a simple online search on current real estate trends can give you insights into in-demand upgrades among homebuyers. Find out what style and design appeal most and use them as a baseline for your remodeling plan.

Why Think of a Remodel With Resale in Mind

Properties are real estate commodities, and many profit from them. They can sell like hotcakes during certain seasons in the U.S. Summer is the busiest time for relocations, with 80% occurring between April and September. You may not have plans to sell your property, but if you need to downsize later, your home can command good money because of certain renovations.

house for sale sign in a garden

Financial challenges can happen to anyone, and you may find yourself in a situation where your last source of cash is your house. Therefore, considering renovations with resale in mind is a better approach.

Think from an investor's perspective when planning a minor or major remodel. What you invest in your kitchen, floor or bathroom should add value to your home's market price. This way, you have a floating asset you can convert to cash anytime.

How Interior Design Adds Value

Interior design elevates the price tag on any property for reasons like increased functionality and aesthetics. It's human nature to perceive beautiful things with a higher value, from clothing to art.

Aesthetics is a key consideration since a beautiful abode can impact your mood. Home size, design, comfort, quality, privacy and security can affect your experiences, feelings and well-being.

scandinavian style living room with an abundance of plants

An interior overhaul can elevate your home’s functionality. For instance, adding storage to the kitchen will give you more space to keep your groceries, while a motion-sensor lighting system promotes sustainability and safer navigation.

Design Tips That Increase Aesthetics and ROI

It helps to understand why balancing ROI and personal preferences with interior upgrades is important and how renovations increase the property's value. With that in mind, here are the top projects to tackle.

1. Repainting the Walls

Interior design experts turn to a new coat of paint for a change because of its many benefits. It lightens the atmosphere, makes small areas visually larger and brightens up the space for an inviting look.

paint roller

Repainting is the most straightforward home update you can do to match the trends. It's cost-effective yet makes a huge difference.

2. Hanging Mirrors in Every Room

Putting mirrors in every room is a common practice in interior design and works especially well in limited space. The reflecting light can make the room appear larger through illusion. They can open up rooms with angled walls so they don’t feel as cramped.

standing mirror with plants wabi sabi look

Mirrors can make tight spaces appear roomier. Most of all, they’re an inexpensive upgrade you can buy online or at a nearby home improvement shop. Hang them on your living room, bedroom and patio walls.

3. Replacing the Windows

People can see your windows from the street, making them good targets for renovations that increase the home's value. The average return on investment for vinyl window replacement is 68.5%, while wood is 61.2%.

two men installing a window

Replacing windows demands a higher initial cost but pays off in the future. Plus, it boosts your home's security. Consider a replacement when you notice decay and damage on the frames and jambs or the windows don't open and close smoothly. Opt for energy-efficient materials with high insulation features and durability.

4. Changing and Adding More Lighting

You can maximize ROI by simply changing a simple lighting component. Most homebuyers look for sustainable properties, so switching to LEDs will be a draw. It'll still benefit you even if you don't sell your home, as it can save you up to $225 in energy costs per year. You can put this money toward other basic expenses.

wooden pendant lights in staircase of modern home

Remember to install more bulbs in dark areas as well. Optimal visibility in every space helps everyone navigate the surroundings safely. This feature is attractive to older homebuyers since it makes the property senior-friendly.

5. Upgrading the Entry Door

The front door makes a big impression on guests and adds to your home’s curb appeal. A front door is to a house is what clothes are to humans. Some people judge the entire property based on the condition of the entrance.

classic red front door in white period property

This upgrade costs between $497 and $1,870 (equivalent of €450 to €1750), depending on the frame, door type and material. However, it’s a worthwhile investment if its design, structure and durability make a statement.

6. Doing Minimal Bathroom Renovations

Bathrooms are critical areas of your residence, and beautifying them often requires expensive, significant overhauls. Replacing the flooring and repositioning the toilet and bathtub can be costly projects. However, when done right, minor alterations can magnify your property's appeal and value.

modern bathtub with a view with modern features and amazing wallpaper

Consider budget-friendly upgrades, like applying glamorous wallpaper to spruce up an old bathroom or adding peel-and-stick tiles to the floor. Ensure the color and design match the rest of the theme.

7. Installing a Water Feature

Focus on your landscape to raise your property’s selling price to a premium. Biophilic design integrates natural elements into your home. Environmental components can reduce mental fatigue and boost productivity — extra features that make your house attractive to buyers.

fountain water feature in garden

Installing a water feature is a good renovation idea. A backyard pond or front yard fountain adds a unique touch to the landscape. Plan the location, size and decoration to ensure a natural look. Ensure it's eco-friendly, too.

8. Updating Kitchen Appliances

Opt for innovative, energy-efficient options to replace an old microwave or refrigerator. Modern appliances and other kitchen renovations have a return on investment of 41.8%, so it's worth considering when remodeling.

modern kitchen with updated appliances

Additionally, it improves kitchen functionality. A smart fridge has energy-saving settings to minimize bills. It also has a built-in touch screen for searching for recipes or creating a shopping list. You'll never regret installing smart appliances in your kitchen.

9. Adding a Deck or a Patio

Convert part of your yard into an exterior structure — like a deck, patio or porch — to increase the home's perceived value. It can be a key selling point that enhances the property's look and expands the entertaining space. You can hold weekend barbecues here or host special occasions.

modern patio deck with furniture with water views

A wooden deck can increase the resale value by up to 50% of the total cost you paid for the upgrade, making it a sound financial investment.

10. Investing in High-Quality Garage Door

The garage is an often overlooked home area, so you might think there's no space for aesthetics here. However, a neat and organized area can change a buyer's perception of your house and make them more likely to make an offer.

modern grey garage door

Upgrading your garage door, which is the face of your exterior, boosts curb appeal. It doesn't cost much, plus it's one less thing new homeowners will worry about when moving in. Fixing it will score you some buying points as it enhances home security. High-quality material can boost your home's energy efficiency and insulated doors can reduce air leaks and drafts.

Think Long Term When Making Home Upgrades

Home upgrades are an investment toward making your home look beautiful and increasing its resale value. You may not plan to put your property on the market any time soon. However, when the time comes, it can increase your chance of getting good money from the stylish improvements you made. In the meantime, you get to live in a home you love.

Evelyn Long

Evelyn Long is the Editor-in-Chief of Renovated Magazine, where she writes on interior design and home organization content. She is passionate about making home styling easier for all homeowners and renters by writing about home interior trends. Subscribe to for more posts by Evelyn!


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I am Marieke, a Dutch Australian interior designer, business executive, tutor, content creator and social media influencer.


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