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Renovation Tips by Room

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Each room in your home has a different purpose and a different look--you can't approach the renovation of all your rooms the same way. The following tips will offer a little room-by-room guidance on the complex project of remodeling your home.

Living Room/Family Room

This room is where you and your family spend most of your time relaxing and entertaining guests, so you want to pay careful attention when planning out your renovations. Plan as many details as possible before you even start renovating. That way, you can cater the room's construction to the style and layout you have planned.
  • Pick a focal point for the room. The usual suspects are a fireplace or the television. You can arrange everything else, such as your furniture, plants, and artwork, around the focal point.

  • Think about how you'll use the room to determine the best way to remodel the space. Do you do a lot of reading? You may wish to install floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to house your extensive literary collection. Are you a movie buff? A large entertainment center for your surround sound speakers, plasma television, Blu-Ray player, and DVD collection will be a necessity.

  • Choose a color scheme, or other design elements in advance to facilitate planning your renovations. It will make it easier to choose furniture and other decor items if you have your theme already in mind.


The most important thing to consider for your kitchen is the layout. A kitchen should be arranged for practicality and utility--an awkward appliance arrangement will make cooking and other duties difficult.
  • Decide if you want to have an island. If so, will you put the stove, dishwasher, and/or microwave in the island or in the surrounding counter space? Will the island be a place to prep for cooking? You can top the counter with a butcher block to create a useful area for slicing and dicing.

  • Choose the kind of appliances you want. Stainless steel? All black? What sizes do you require and what features are you seeking? Do you want an icemaker in your refrigerator? How large of a dishwasher is necessary for your family?

  • Research appliance brands thoroughly to determine that you are purchasing a high-quality product for your budget.

  • Choose your flooring. Hardwood floors are high maintenance, but elegant; cork is affordable and resilient; and ceramic tiles are costly, but beautiful and easy to clean. Determine your budget and your desired look for your kitchen to choose a flooring option that best suits your needs.

  • Choose your cabinets. There are a variety of cabinet types, styles, and dimensions to choose from. You can accessorize your cabinets with decorative knobs or pulls; you can finish your cabinets with stain, glaze, or paint; and you can choose between frame and panel, frame-only, or slab doors. The amount of storage you require and the style kitchen you seek are important factors to consider when choosing your cabinets.

  • Choose your countertops. Granite, quartz, marble, stainless steel, wood, laminate, copper--there are endless options for your kitchen counters. Consider cost and maintenance before choosing a material. Laminate counters tend to be the most affordable, durable and easiest to clean, while natural stone counters can be costlier and show more wear and tear.


The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the home. If you put a little extra effort into the renovation of your bathroom, you might be surprised at the difference it will make.
  • Increasing the size of your bathroom? Many bathroom renovations include enlarging the space. Allotting an extra square foot or two for your bathroom can make it significantly more comfortable.

  • Choose your shower and tub. Will you have a shower stall with glass doors and a standalone marble tub? A standard acrylic or fiberglass bathtub/shower combination? A specialty tub such as a soaking tub, air bath, or Whirlpool tub? What types of faucets and fixtures would you prefer? There are a variety of styles and finishes available to choose from.

  • Choose your sinks. Choose from wall-mounted basin, vessel, or pedestal sinks in porcelain, fiberglass, steel or marble. If you have a large bathroom, you may opt to install dual sinks.
Other considerations could include:
  • Heated towel bars

  • Heated tile floors

  • Laundry chute or space for a laundry basket

  • Heat lamp

  • Steam generation unit
Always ask yourself what you intend to use the space for, how much space you want to devote to a particular room, and what kind of furniture and decor you desire. Keep the answers to these questions in mind as you plan your renovations. Once your remodels are completed, you will have rooms that are catered to your personal wants and needs.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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