Experts’ best home renovation ideas for 2021

How to Soundproof Your Home Office for Better Productivity

We’ve spent a lot of time in our homes this year, and that will continue into 2021. If your New Year’s resolution is to make your living space more comfortable, Forbes magazine has some suggestions.

According to Forbes, there are two things to consider: “what needs to be done to make your home as comfortable as possible for the immediate future and what investments make the most sense for re-sale value.”

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The magazine talked to interior design experts, and here are the changes they say you should consider.

Home office

Many of us have been working from home nearly 10 months and expect to do so for at least six more.

According to Justina Blakeney, founder of Jungalow, home offices are becoming as essential as a kitchen or bathroom. “Even as business and offices reopen, many companies have made a conscious shift to a work-from-home hybrid model that only requires employees to come into the office a few days a week,” she told Forbes.

If your living space is small, Blakeney said, you might have to get creative. “For example, if renovations are out of reach, people may take off sliding closet doors and turn a guest bedroom closet into an office.”

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Soundproofing and separating

“While there is something undeniably attractive about a big open loft-like space, I am seeing more buyers talk about how to add an office or Peloton room into the same square footage,” agent Allison Chiaramonte of Warburg Realty told Forbes.

Having more people in the house during the day increases the need for soundproofing, too, she said.

Paint

Interior designer Caitlin Scanlon told Forbes she recommends a fresh coat of paint to upgrade a space.

“It’s a low-cost way to make a huge impact,” she said. “British paint brands like Farrow & Ball started the trend of deep saturated, highly pigmented colors, and Los Angeles-based brand Portola Paints has brought it to the next level.”

Apartment Therapy’s home projects editor, Megan Baker, said lighter colors will make a room feel brighter and a bit bigger, while darker colors will make it feel cozier.

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Kitchen

The kitchen has always been the heart of the home, but even more so during the pandemic.

“This means that having a kitchen that is both functional and beautiful is an increasing priority,” Chiaramonte said. “More and more, I see potential buyers even in city apartments looking at the kitchen not just for its appearance, but functionality for cooking multiple meals a day and storing excess supplies and food.”

Because kitchen renovations can also increase your resale value, Chiaramonte recommends adding a pantry, if possible. “Kitchen storage [is] at a premium since everyone is conscious of the ability to store extra food and pantry items these days.”

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Unused or underused space

Many homeowners have already converted their formal dining rooms into home offices, but there are other ways to change that space.

“If you never use your formal dining room, turn it into something that adds value to your family like a game room, or envelop it into the kitchen and have one large area where you can all eat together,” interior designer Liz Caan told Forbes.

Caan also recommended finishing your basement and turning it into a massage, yoga or weight room.

“The garage could turn into an office or studio space, allowing you to work in a space separate from the main home,” she added.

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