I have a question for you. Does your home make you happy?
Several months ago Lloyd and I were able to complete a kitchen remodel for my parents. Since then my parents tell us regularly how much they love their new kitchen. It is their first custom kitchen and it has really made a difference to them. My father is near eighty and spends a lot of time in the kitchen since he retired. Looking back he wishes that he had remodeled the kitchen sooner. He is so thrilled with his new work environment. He told me recently “I find myself surprised by the feelings that this new room evokes in me. The room seems to elevate your spirits immediately.”
Small projects can have a big impact on your home. There are many different ways to change a room that will give it a fresh look or help open up the space. In the past, some of our customers have found that taking out a full wall or even just half of a wall makes an old home feel new. Many times this is done in the kitchen or dining room area to make the space feel larger and more open. This can make the room appear larger and add a better flow for entertaining.
If taking out a wall seems too drastic, consider widening a door way into a room. Often this can accomplish a similar feel as taking part of a wall out. There are a host of other upgrades that can help breathe new life and energy into your home. Consider small things like your fireplace mantle, that dusty space in the corner, or the old dated molding. New mill work, trim or book cases and a fresh coat of paint can change the feel of any room.
Recently I realized even small, non-permanent changes to your home can impact you emotionally. I recently purchased two new lamps for a room in my home. After bringing them home and turning them on I was surprised how the new lamps changed the atmosphere in the room.
Opening up spaces in a home can liven it up, but bringing more light into your home can do more for you than just make it brighter. Studies on the effects of a lack of natural sunlight show that that your mood is influenced by a complex web of relationships. Your exposure to sunlight can affect the levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and serotonin (the hormone associated with wakefulness and elevated mood) in your body. Lynda Liu, a columnist for WebMD, suggests that a lack of summer sun can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). She says serotonin levels increase when you’re exposed to bright light and that bright-light therapy can bring quick benefits to people with depression or SAD.
There are several great ways to bring more light into your home. A new sunroom or an addition with a large bank of windows is great if you have the room for it. If not, modifying an existing, south-facing, exterior wall to accept a large bay window can do wonders. Places in your home like this truly help you to stop, relax and enjoy a few moments of the day.
Take a few minutes and think about what you could do to brighten your home. Whether it is a large remodel, a small sunroom or just opening up a doorway, I hope you will give it some consideration. Revitalizing an area in your home can feel like a breath of fresh air and it can be as simple as finding a new lamp or a coat of paint. Whatever it is, my wish for you is that your home makes you happy; and if you’re considering some large changes I hope that you will give Stephens Remodeling a chance to help you with those projects.