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Small steps can lead to big change in your home

So you are thinking of doing "something" with your home, but don't know exactly what. There are things that need improvement or perhaps they need repair, but you don't want to throw everything out and start from scratch. What to do? Let's explore.

Simple changes. Sometimes just a simple change or addition can make a big difference. Consider changing wall color or wallpaper. It is a quick fix and comes across as a big makeover. No new cabinetry is required. No new flooring is needed — just a simple wall change and a big impact can be had.

Little steps. Are you considering redoing the kitchen, but can't afford it quite yet? How about making a plan of what you want the finished product to be first? After the plan is in place, buy the appliances on credit. Once those are paid off, you can start saving for the rest of the renovation. Yes, this might all take a few years, but it is a way of getting to the goal without breaking the bank.

Wiring and insulation. Have you had your electrical wiring checked lately? If your home is older, it might be a wise thing to do. Faulty or worn old wiring can start house fires. Also, have your house checked for proper insulation everywhere, not just the attic stairs. Good insulation can make your home more energy-efficient, as much heat and air-conditioning can be lost through the roof, ceilings and walls if not properly insulated.

Fireplace in shape. Does your home have a fireplace? Is the chimney clean? Do you need a new enclosed fireplace installed? A fireplace is a wonderful thing to have, even if just for the ambience, but a hazard if it is not in good condition. Now is the time to check it and fix it if necessary.

New furniture? Go window-shopping first. Check out the different furniture stores for ideas and prices. Once you find the perfect furnishings, shop around to see if you can find the same or similar items for less money. But don't be fooled by cheap prices that deliver cheap quality. The item might look good on the outside and at first glance, but you want it to continue looking good and hold up well over several years. It is wiser to spend a little more now than to have to spend all over again sooner than later.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, is author of "Mystery of Color."

Small steps can lead to big change in your home 09/13/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 13, 2010 1:38pm]
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