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Top Five Home Improvements for Winter

(Hi, Kingston readers! We had some time away from our keyboards in an end-of-summer and fall whirlwind of new clients, home shows and association meetings. Now that the dust is settling, we’ll be back to more regular updates, so we can share news from Kingston and lots of great ideas for your home. Thanks! – Team Kingston)

Top 5 Home Improvement Ideas for Winter –

1 – Indoor Liannapolis-lighting-fixturesghting – The cold, grey days of winter are a great time to assess your lighting needs. There are options to think about: lighting temperature, whether you’ve updated to environmentally-friendly CFL’s, whether the lighting in our home handles winter’s longer nights, helping us chase away the gloom. Light can change our mood dramatically in this season with limited sun. There are special lamps that mimic the effects of sunlight, helping stave off depression for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Lighting temperature can improve rooms in ways we don’t always think about. One Kingston team member had a guest powder room that hadn’t been updated since the late 60’s, and couldn’t afford to do the complete overhaul they wanted immediately after moving in to their new home. Changing the butter yellow paint to a cool grey and the yellow-tinged lighting to lights with a soothing blue tone made the pink sink and toilet much less jarring.

2 – Interior Painting – Has there been something bugging you about your living room, bedroom or kitchen, and you just can’t put your finger on it? Many times homeowners take care of the bigger issues their home might have – a roof, an HVAC unit or a deck, for example – but ignore the walls themselves. They get a dingy, uncared-for vibe from their surroundings after doing structural upkeep but can’t figure out that finishing touch that pulls it all together. Frequently, the answer is sometimes as simple as a fresh coat of paint. A change in color can breathe new life into a room and change how you feel in the space.

Kingston’s talented Senior Designer, Sooz Wilson, has a great eye for color. If your armfuls of paint swatches are overwhelming you into indecision, feel free to call Kingston to ask for some advice. Maybe you have other home questions we can help you out with…!

3 – Flooring – Now that you’ve properly lit your environment and gotten some fresh colors in your rooms, you can take a good thorough look at your floors and see how they’re taqkoma-park-kitchen-featured-imageholding up. Loose boards or nails can lead to snagged clothing or foot injuries. Brighter light and wall colors can reveal old, worn or broken tiles. Even your rugs need some occasional TLC that goes beyond running the vacuum cleaner on them.

In spring, you might be too busy enjoying the better weather outside to pay much attention to where your feet hit the ground indoors. Winter is the right time to make sure your home is as lovely for your feet as it is for your eyes. There are tons of great choices for flooring that you might not have considered, like reclaimed wood, bamboo, concrete or large-format tiles.

4 – Assess Interior Storage Needs – Another common post-holiday phenomenon is the realization that there’s not quite enough space, in your space. This doesn’t mean, not enough rooms or that you need an addition, necessarily. What could be making your home feel crowded is lack of proper storage throughout the house. You might need better cabinets or closets.

A clever storage space below a set of stairs or enlarged closet can The glass cabinet and deeper base cabinet add interest to the wall of cabinetrymake a room go from feeling cluttered to being open and Zen-like. Imagine how much nicer your media center or library would look with a new set of in-wall shelves! A place for everything and everything in its place – that is the mantra for masters of feng shui. Use January & February to exploit the little-used corners of your home for their potential to become powerful allies in your quest of a more accessible, harmonious home.

5. Finish that basement! Have you been wanting to get your basement refinished, but keep putting it off? Winter is the perfect time to call Kingston & get that taken care of. There’s plenty around your basement that a home handyman can do, but to turn a little-used basement space into an area that’s warm, inviting & livable in a hurry, your best bet is to call in your friendly neighborhood remodeler and get it sorted out.

Winter is the right time for that as our contractors tend to be more available than they are in spring & summer. Turnaround times are low and the levels of potential increased value and enjoyment of your home are high. Turn that grungy place where you store all the old boxes into a warm & inviting rec room, perfect for games and movies with family and friends. Even a small basement can has huge potential for improvement.

The bonus item for anyone’s winter “to do” list for your home:

6 – Make a Punchlist for Spring!  Spring will be here before we know it. Late fall and winter are the best times to think about the more major projects you want for your home. Kitchen and bath remodels frequently involve knocking out walls, which makes them better to do in spring and summer. Roofs, decks and additions are all jobs that go more smoothly in warmer weather. Use winter to get some design ideas, so you’ll know what the right forecast is – for your project’s hopes, and for your wallet.

So remember – don’t let winter’s doldrums and cold keep you from moving forward with your home improvement goals. Stay focused on the future of your house to make the most of your environment.