• August 4, 2020

Ultimate Upgrades - Odessa American: Home Improvement

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Ultimate Upgrades

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Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 12:00 am

Practical tips to improve your home’s function and ambiance

(Family Features) Homeowners tackling interior upgrades often focus their attention on two of the most-used rooms the in the house: the kitchen and bathroom. Tailoring these rooms to your personal preferences may enhance your enjoyment of the space, but most experts recommend thinking long term for the biggest return on your investment.

If a kitchen or bathroom renovation is in your future, take a holistic approach that considers how the space will be used now and in the future.

Kitchen Considerations

As the hub of activity for many households, the kitchen is a space that commands efficient, functional design. Aside from the practical issue of losing access to the space while it’s under construction, there’s another important challenge for homeowners to consider when tackling a kitchen remodel: for maximum return on your investment, avoid making choices that are too trendy or personal.

Design trends come and go, so while a contemporary update is almost always a good idea, many design experts recommend sticking with classic looks and styles that have broad appeal, especially for big ticket (and big price tag) elements like cabinetry. Save your flair for aspects like the backsplash tile or wall color, which can be relatively easily changed by a new owner or even yourself when you want a refresh down the road.

Another area to give special attention is the overall ambiance of the room, which is largely influenced by the light from natural and electric sources. For a room that needs brightening, skylights are a smart option because they free up wall space for more storage and cabinets while adding abundant natural light.

However, natural light from above isn’t the only advantage of adding skylights. Some models, such as a Velux solar-powered, fresh-air skylight, can be opened with a remote control to bring fresh air inside, which helps keep the kitchen fresh and rids indoor air of pollutants from daily activities like cooking and cleaning.

Skylights can be ordered with light-filtering or room-darkening blinds, which give homeowners maximum control over the exact amount of light they want. Plus, solar-powered blinds come in over 75 colors and patterns for customizable design options that allow you to truly make the space your own.

Be sure to ask whether the line you’re considering qualifies for a federal tax credit. Solar-powered skylights and blinds are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit on product and installation if purchased and installed by the end of 2020. The credit decreases to 22% in 2021.

A Better Bathroom

In the bathroom, modern upgrades are also a smart investment. However, many experts actually recommend thinking not just about what’s in vogue right now but considering needs far into the future.

Universal design is especially relevant in the bathroom, where simple adjustments can provide added accessibility as you age, and these updates can flow seamlessly into the design. This means considering a vanity with a raised counter height and a taller toilet base, which can add stylish enjoyment no matter your age. Other features like a zero-entry shower deliver high-demand design and safety simultaneously.

Outside of accessibility-oriented updates, upgrading your fixtures, fresh paint and contemporary tile can go a long way toward transforming a bathroom. If you find your space is still in need of a boost, a skylight may be the answer. Natural light can be that last touch to bring your space from just OK to perfect, and skylights in the bathroom allow homeowners to maximize their natural light without losing any privacy.

In a space like the bathroom, where ventilation is a top concern, a choice like Velux No Leak Solar-Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights provide natural light as well as fresh air ventilation to make the environment healthier. They help rid indoor air of bacteria, volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide.

Smart Climate Control

Fresh air ventilation is one way homeowners can promote better indoor air quality, especially in rooms like kitchens and bathrooms which are especially vulnerable to poor air circulation.

A smartphone-controlled skylight automation system such as Velux Active with Netatmo can help improve indoor climate from the convenience of your mobile device. It allows homeowners to automate when they open and close their skylights and blinds. The system monitors an online weather station and uses indoor sensors to measure temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide levels in the home. Based on a homeowner’s settings, the system will automatically open the skylights or extend the blinds as needed to improve air quality and temperature inside the home.

Explore more design ideas to enhance your kitchen and bathroom spaces at whyskylights.com.

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