For most Americans, owning a home means more than just having a place to sleep and live. Home ownership is also a significant source of wealth.
Since 2007, the average U.S. homeowner’s net worth has ranged from $159,000 to more than $221,000, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances. A popular pastime of many homeowners is upgrading and improving their property to increase its value.
In the rush to enhance kitchens and bathrooms with the latest countertops and tile, many homeowners overlook one of the simplest home upgrades which provides a big return for the expense: lighting.
If you want a home improvement project that adds value but doesn’t require a second mortgage, here are some lighting ideas.
Add room elegance
Consider replacing boring room lights with an eye-catching chandelier, recommends Teri Cettina, writing for bankrate.com. More than any other feature, chandeliers can add a unique, elegant touch to a room. Designs like those by Schonbek — available at Dulles Electric — offer hundreds of options at affordable prices. It is easy to find something in your budget that will still wow your guests.
Chandeliers don’t need to be restricted to living rooms and dining rooms either. They can add a spa-like ambiance to master bedrooms and baths.
Beautify the bathroom
If your bathroom has overhead lights, consider replacing them with wall-mounted lights to add warmth and value to your bathroom, recommends hgtv.com. Around your mirror you need even lighting that doesn’t create side shadows. Keep in mind that high wattage bulbs make small spaces feel larger and soft lighting brings warmth to empty spaces.
Don’t forget the kitchen
Countertops, cabinets and flooring get all the attention when upgrading kitchens. Yet without proper lighting, the room will never look or function as well as it should. Kitchens are workspaces. A single, central overhead light simply doesn’t provide adequate illumination when you are looking in the back corner of a cabinet for pumpkin spice.
“Many designers divide kitchen lighting into three categories: general lighting (for overall illumination), task lighting (for detailed tasks) and accent lighting (for setting a mood or illuminating glass-front cabinets),” according to information from familyhandyman.com.
When the right fixtures are in place, the site recommends adding dimmer switches for flexibility and high-quality bulbs to maximize lighting efficiency.
Open window shades, blinds and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible. Natural lighting makes your home appear open and airy. If your home has skylights, that is a nice bonus. If not, sun tubes are a less-expensive option, reports Joseph D’Agnese in an article for This Old House.
These smaller, tubular skylights use reflective material to funnel natural light from a globe-capped hole cut in a rooftop down through a ceiling fixture and into a room. You can even use them to brighten areas like hallways and entries where traditional skylights aren’t practical. As a bonus, the additional natural light can help reduce your electric bill.
Exterior lighting can enhance the curb appeal and value of your home if lighting is part of a comprehensive landscaping plan. When you drive through a neighborhood at night, chances are the homes that stand out most are those where lighting plays an important role. Lighting should highlight structural features like pathways, fire pits, water features, fencing and more. If you have outdoor patios, decks or other outdoor living spaces, those should also be included in the overall lighting and landscaping design.
Lighting can change the mood of a room or even make a room seem larger or smaller. It can enhance color and increase functionality. For more ideas on how you can make your home more beautiful and increase its value with great lighting, contact a trusted, local lighting expert.