ECO TOWN HOUSE:   by CHALKSPACE

9 proven ways clever people add value to their home

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Any homeowner that has bought and sold a property knows there are certain pitfalls involved in the process. When selling a house, first impressions count for so much. However, the problem is that unlike designers, most people don't have the vision or foresight to see the bigger picture once all their belongings and furniture are placed inside.

Just like a shop front, you are selling something so the best thing you can do—like an advertising agency—is market the product on sale in the best light and to the very best of your ability. There are, of course, certain elements that make a greater difference than others in the final sale price so today, to help you navigate the mess, we're going to list nine ways to add value to your property.

Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn't invest the time or money in soft furnishings and the like. Instead, you should pay attention to bigger, more important elements, some of which are not even visible. We encourage you to think about all the elements you want or are looking for in a home and to project these emotions onto your own property. You can of course always ask a friend for their honest, brutal opinion. Shirking it off and saying, It's okay, they'll see past it, is a huge mistake as the reality is, they wont.

So, pay attention to your own gut feelings and seek advice! And, where possible, gain inspiration from the tips below…

1. Fix the front entrance

ECO TOWN HOUSE:   by CHALKSPACE
CHALKSPACE

ECO TOWN HOUSE

CHALKSPACE

We've said it and you've heard it before—first impressions count! What a potential homeowner sees when they approach a door is one of the most important and influential factors.

If the front of your house is looking run down, the garden is a mess or the door is weathered and unsightly, do consider giving the exterior of your home a facelift. 

Put yourself in the position of the buyer—if you approached a house with an awful frontage, how would you feel? For some, it may stir up negative emotions from the beginning, throwing them off from the potentially wonderful home that is inside.

Take cues from Chalkspace and create a first impression that will last.

2. Concentrate on upgrading the kitchen

Cadogan Place: classic Kitchen by DO Design Studio
DO Design Studio

Cadogan Place

DO Design Studio

The room that should always take precedence in renovations or upgrades is the kitchen and the reason why is pretty simple. Out of all the rooms we leave behind once we move out or sell a house, the kitchen almost always remains in tact. Not to mention, it is always one of the most commonly scrutinised spaces when it comes to open house inspections.

The kitchen is the heart of the home; every day we spend an allocated amount of time there, cooking, drinking and even recapping a day with a partner or children. If you only have a certain amount of funds to spend, use them on the kitchen - the rewards will far outweigh the upfront cost.

DO Design Studio were responsible for the design of the pictured kitchen and, if you're interested, was part of an upgrade conducted inside a heritage listed property. 

3. Renovate the bathroom

Eaton Mews North - Master Bathroom: modern Bathroom by Roselind Wilson Design
Roselind Wilson Design

Eaton Mews North—Master Bathroom

Roselind Wilson Design

Following the upgrade of the kitchen, the bathroom is the next most important space on the scale of renovation hierarchy. Concentrate on making the space as appealing as possible to a wide range of tastes.

Don't forget that while you have one thing in mind, potential buyers may not share the same love for ornate curtains or coloured tiles. Strip the bathroom back to basics—invest in good-quality tiles, marble and cabinetry. Keep it clean and simple and, above all, bring as much natural light into the space and possible. That may mean adding a skylight or replacing the windows—whatever works best.

4. Boost your energy-efficiency rating

Homeowners, designers and architects alike, are thankfully jumping on board when it comes to sustainability and eco-conscious building. Not only does it save you money in terms of heating and cooling costs, but it also allows you to have a clear conscience, knowing that you aren't unnecessarily wasting energy or burning fossil fuels.

There are many ways you can boost the energy-efficiency rating of your home. You can upgrade your insulation specifications, replace windows from single glazed to double or triple (depending on your budget) and even consider adding more efficient artificial heating and cooling options.

Sometimes, the old wood log fire or gas heater may be past their use-by dates, either leaking energy or just simply not running as well as they can. We would strongly recommend replacing these systems. Energy-efficiency is a buzzword nowadays and humans will naturally lean towards these phrases as selling points. 

5. Bring the landscape inside

SUNSET STRIP RESIDENCE : modern Living room by McClean Design
McClean Design

SUNSET STRIP RESIDENCE

McClean Design

If you are blessed with a wonderful view you should definitely take any opportunity possible to bring that scenery inside, as done by McClean Design in this image. A light-filled and open living space is important to many people as it is the space you look forward to spending time in after a busy day. It is also the room most commonly used to seat or entertain guests, maybe even clients if you work from home.

There is no need for art or additional artificial light when the external walls have been opened up with floor-to-ceiling windows. This may seem like a costly venture but if you have access to a landscape outside and this has not yet been taken advantage of, then this really is a point that should be considered. 

6. Make the most of a small garden

Those living in flats or townhouses will know the bane of having a pokey and small outdoor area. But thanks to the creativity and ingenuity of companies like Garden Club London, there are now a myriad of possibilities available to create a cosy and usable outdoor area, despite the lack of size.

Take this example into consideration. It is narrow and small, yet the addition of different levels creates variance and asymmetry, allowing the occupants to enjoy a drink and relax outdoors, as well as grow a few herbs and plants to bring a much needed piece of nature into inner-city life. 

This small addition makes all the difference in the long run and is definitely a point to consider if you have access to a space such as this. 

7. Add mirrors to the hall

Every designer knows the trick of using mirrors to create the illusion of additional space and depth. Not only does a beautiful mirror look amazing and allow the occupants a last minute beauty check on the way out, but it also helps to refract and bounce the available light throughout the room. This is really important for dark and cramped entrances and hallways—we promise you will notice the difference instantly!

If you are a believer in Feng Shui, a hallway mirror is essential to keep the positive energy circulating throughout the home. Do not, however, place the mirror directly facing the doorway. This creates a negative effect, forcing the good energy back outside.

8. Invest in clever storage solutions

In this day and age our homes are getting smaller but our needs and wants aren't shrinking at the same rate. Ample storage space and the correct use of small nooks and spaces is of utmost importance.

This seemingly wasted area above the stairs has been transformed into a clever little nook. This is a great example of using every inch of available space. Mezzanine and loft spaces are also all the rage at the moment as they provide the extra room that may be needed for spare bedrooms or home offices.

In terms of storage, a home will be judged on the size, style and number of cupboard spaces available. Since walk-in and in-built systems are the best in terms of space and money saving, invest the time and effort to have these types of shelves installed. As yet another feature that cannot be removed when the occupants leave, they will add instant value!

9. Add a swimming pool

It's an age old value adder—the swimming pool! In fact, in large properties with empty back gardens, courtyards or blocks of land, it is the perfect filler to add a space for relaxation and respite. A great feature for the summer time, you can even consider an indoor pool if you have the space and intend to use the space as a wellness area all year round.

The featured experts, London Swimming Pool Company, have a huge selection of indoor, outdoor and plunge pools available. However, make sure you check your council requirements. By law, some pools and areas require fencing for safety purposes and may be a requirement of families looking to buy your home.

If you're looking for further inspiration, check out these: 8 essential tips to help sell your house.

What do you look for when viewing a potential property?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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