How to make your small apartment seem bigger without really trying….seems like some sort of Twilight Zone episode yes? No. The Property Brothers make it possible. We’re big home makeover addicts, so The HGTV channel is like comfort food for our brain. And we’re particularly obsessed with this cute sibling duo for obvious reasons. Two dynamic siblings with an affinity for stylish digs, working together? We can totally relate.
Canadian brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott are in their ninth season of the wildly successful home improvement reality series, and they just released their first book this week, titled Dream Home: The Property Brothers Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House. We celebrated by plugging them for twenty tips (ten each) on how to make the most of your living space, and if they don’t make you want to dart over to your nearest interiors mecca and play house, we don’t know what will!
1. In the kitchen, try overhead racks to hang pots and pans as long as it doesn’t obstruct your open concept feel. Slide-out shelves, pull-out pantries, and lazy Susan features are also great for cabinets.
2. Simply replacing your kitchen cabinet and drawer pulls is an easy, low-cost way to add a fresh new look.
3. Make the most of existing cabinets and consider adding more wherever possible. That could mean a new kitchen island (if you have the space), a dual-sink bathroom vanity, wall cabinets above and below a wall mounted TV, or all the above. These will also be enticing to buyers when you eventually want to sell your home.
4. Glass-front cabinets are a beautiful upgrade for any kitchen. Go a step further by adding a designer pop of color to the back of your cabinet and just watch how jealous your friends will be.
5. Mirrors are always a simple and inexpensive way to make a room feel larger. Not only do they add the illusion of more depth but also help reflect the light. Lighter and brighter feels bigger.
6. Closet organizing systems are essential. They not only maximize closet capacity but encourage an everything-in-its-place attitude. Plus, Buyers are always looking for better storage.
7. Think beyond built-ins. This may be adding hard value to your home but before people had closets, they had armoires. They come in any style you like and can be equipped to store anything from clothes to toys to electronics.
8. It’s important to create defined spaces for entertaining outdoors, even if you have a small backyard. Cluster seating, use weather resistant area rugs and even consider adding a water feature like a small portable fountain for tranquility.
9. Outdoor lighting is as important as indoor. Pathway lights are functional, as it can keep you safe at night, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing and can create just the right mood for entertaining.
10. Solar energy is no longer the wave of the future; it’s here now, and booming as costs drop and demand grows. Depending on where you live, state as well as federal tax credits drop the final price, which is ultimately paid for by lower energy bills. If you can’t or don’t want to take on the larger upfront cost, a growing number of companies (such as SunRun) handle installation, maintenance, monitoring, and repairs in exchange for a set monthly fee.
11. Buyers love technology. In your kitchen there are great new products such as touch-less fixtures, digital window blinds and even refrigerators that will tell you when it’s time to stock up. Be careful not to blow your budget, but why not add a few cool features to show off to your friends?
12. In any room, the cheapest fix of all is a new coat of paint. Most buyers in today’s market feel a gray color palette feels more modern. For a kitchen, consider going for a light, neutral tone that complements the countertop, cabinets and backsplash.
13. Vertical gardens are increasingly popular with today’s buyers, such as an herb garden on the windowsill. Not only are they a great use of space and show you are looking to utilize green alternatives in your home, they are also very easy to maintain.
14. Use your walls to display conversation pieces. In our home, antique armor and weapons pay tribute to our Scottish heritage. As long as you’re not going overboard cluttering every square inch of your walls with knickknacks, your home won’t feel like a specialty museum.
15. So many homeowners are afraid of wallpaper but it doesn’t have to look like your grandma’s old house. There are so many great colors and prints available; the sky is the limit. You’ll be surprised at how wallpaper will make your space pop.
16. Consider products that make it easier to DIY. If you like a reclaimed wood feature, there are new self-adhesive products that you can use. Adding a feature wall is now just a matter of peeling and sticking.
17. Wooden stairs can be slippery and dangerous for dogs or children running up and down. In order to keep the beauty of hardwood but add an element of safety, a carpet runner could be the perfect choice. Installed properly, it can feel like a designer feature and save you all those Physio bills.
18. Hardwood floors are beautiful, but can be easily scratched. There’s no point installing hardwood flooring if your pets, kids or husbands will unintentionally ruin it in a matter of months. There are other, more durable options available. Plank style porcelain or even vinyl products will last a lot longer and can still give you a hardwood look if that’s what you want.
19. In your bathroom, replace a straight curtain rod with a curved one to give your shower more space. Shower curtains come in a huge variety and a new one can add a designer touch of color or pattern to your space.
20. You don’t need to throw out all the old and bring in everything new. Some of the most appealing accents for your home are old pieces brought back to life. Restaining, reupholstering or refurbishing is a must to add character to your design.
This is the coolest lunch you’ll see all day. We think flowers brighten up a room. Learn how to make a bouquet at home. If you love the Property Brothers, you’ll also love reading about Cousins on Call.