17 home renovation ideas for 2018

Every new year brings momentum for change and 2018 is the perfect time to finally get around to renovating your home. Home renovations can range from smaller DIY-appropriate projects that may only take up a weekend to larger more intensive remodels that will likely require the assistance of a professional contractor.

Ask any homeowner and you’ll likely find a laundry list of projects and renovations they’d like to accomplish. So whether you’re looking to tackle something big or small, here are 17 inspirational ideas for improving your home's aesthetic in 2018.

1. Give your exterior a facelift with modified wood siding

(The Rainscreen House, by Kuhn Architect, photo by Greg Hadley Photography)

Neglected or damaged siding does nothing to improve your curb appeal and can even lead to costly repairs down the road as moisture invades your walls. Rather than slapping on inexpensive vinyl in an effort to give your home a new look, consider modified wood siding instead. Modified wood siding is not only far more durable than vinyl, but it provides the classic character of wood siding without any of the maintenance. If you want a more beautiful exterior and one that can handle whatever Mother Nature cares to throw your way, you can't go wrong with modified wood.

2. Revamp your living room with custom built-in shelving

The hub of every household is the living room, so it pays to really put in the effort of styling this area of your home well. Custom built-in shelving, or an entertainment center is more affordable than you think and adds serious chicness to your living room, not to mention additional storage space which is always an asset. Consider using a contrasting material, like modified wood, for your shelves to give the space definition and charm. Built-in shelving is a great way to efficiently utilize space and give your living room a put-together, well-organized appearance.

3. Freshen up your kitchen cabinets with color and new doors

(By Baxt Ingui Architects, photo by Peter Peirce)

An easy way to breathe new life into your kitchen, while on a budget, is to paint your cabinets a new color - you’ll be amazed by the difference it can make! Use a bold, fun color to make your personal design statement or choose something more neutral for a fresh yet timeless new look. You might also consider replacing your existing cabinets doors or even removing them completely for an open, casual look. Replacing cabinet hardware is another easy way to give your kitchen an entirely new feel.

4. Install a sleek, stylish bathroom vanity

A clunky old bathroom vanity can make an otherwise beautiful bathroom look uninviting and cheap. Replace your old vanity with something new and perhaps a little unexpected to set the tone of your style. A bamboo wood vanity looks very sleek and holds up well in this high-humidity room. You may also consider refinishing an antique vanity to bring a shabby-chic flair to your bathroom instead. Or if you like the style of your current bathroom vanity, consider a new vanity top or sink - there are plenty of options out there to fit any style.

5. Finish rooms with a modern take on crown molding

Crown molding certainly has a grandiose look to it, but it can also look a bit old-fashioned for super modern homes. Instead, choose a modern crown molding to finish your rooms. There is a wide range of modern crown molding and baseboard options. Consider choosing molding in a more simplistic design, especially if the furniture in the room is ornate or makes a big statement. Similarly, if your room is fairly basic in design, a more detailed molding will bring that finishing touch to tie everything together.

6. Swap your headboard for a wall covering alternative

(Safari Lodge, by Hitesh Mehta Design)

The trend of more minimalistic platform beds without a headboard is becoming more popular, making the idea of tossing your own headboard out. An excellent alternative is to cover the wall behind your bed in a different material. Similarly to the idea of painting one wall in a room as an accent, you can instead cover the space behind your bed in a material like wood. In fact, the idea of covering a wall in wood cladding or faux stone works well as an accent in living rooms and dens as well.

7. Bring instant grandeur with box beam ceiling kits

There are few ceiling treatments that look as luxurious as box beam or coffered ceilings. Despite the expensive look of box beam ceilings, you can actually install your own over a weekend thanks to user-friendly DIY box beam ceiling kits. Box beam ceilings look particularly beautiful in living rooms and kitchens, plus they require no construction or invasive remodeling to install. If your ceilings are looking boring and plain, skip the paint and consider a box beam ceiling instead.

8. Create an outdoor entertainment space with a wood deck

(The Sound of Music, by Mareiner Holz)

No backyard is complete without some type of entertainment space. A deck made of modified wood is the perfect solution to a deck-less yard. A modified wood deck is splinter-free, cool to stand on in the summer sun compared to composites, and requires no surface treatments like other wood materials. Even a fairly simple wood deck, furnished with some comfortable seating and shade, will get a lot of use throughout the year and encourage you to spend more time outdoors.

9. Update a dated bathroom or kitchen by refinishing old tiles

Old tiles and dirty grout will instantly make your bathroom or kitchen feel dingy and aged. If your grout and tile are still in good shape, rather than tearing it all out you can save time and money by refinishing it instead. Of course, you will want to clean the grout and repair any missing grout, but as far as the tiles go you can completely change the look with a tile refinishing kit. Brown or pink tile that was popular decades ago can be refinished to a clean, pearly white with surprising ease. If you want a color aside from white, you can refinish the tile and paint it with whatever color you desire instead.

10. Turn a wall in your bedroom into a walk-in closet

A walk-in closet is a dream of many homeowners and just might be more attainable than you think. If you have a fairly sizable master bedroom and can sacrifice a few feet, have a contractor turn one wall or a portion of one wall into a walk-in closet. By building a new wall within the room and using the existing wall as the back of the closet, you can have yourself a spacious walk-in without having to tear down any walls.

11. Recessed lighting adds ambience to any room

(Photo by Lowes.com)

Recessed lighting, particularly when you use warm, dimmable lights, is the perfect way of creating cozy and even romantic ambiance in a room. Recessed lighting can often be installed in existing ceilings fairly easily and is perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, and even kitchens. Consider using LED lighting to cut down on electricity costs.

12. Add interest to your landscape with a wood walkway

(Apolda, by Marcel Adam Landschaftsarchitekten)

A boring, plain cement walkway from the driveway to your door hardly adds anything to your property's curb appeal. Instead create flowing, curved wood walkways up to your door and throughout your garden. Wood walkways made of modified wood are your best bet as they will outlast other types of wood, resist moisture, and contain no toxic chemicals that may leach into the soil like pressure-treated wood has. Consider adding these wood paths from play areas in your backyard or even from your pool to your deck to keep mud at bay.

13. Ditch shampoo caddies and include a niche shelf in your shower

(Photo by sandiegomarbletile.com)

A shower without shelves is hardly user-friendly or stylish, but thankfully installing shelves isn't as difficult as you'd think, especially if you're already retiling your shower. Stop relying on flimsy shampoo caddies and have a few niche shelves built into your shower instead. This increases the space in your shower and keeps your bottles out of the way. Be sure that any niche shelves in your shower have a slight incline to ensure water runs out from them rather than becoming stagnant.

14. Save floor and counter space with bar shelves

(Photo by Houzz.com)

If you fancy having a drink or cocktail with friends and family, chances are you'll need a place to store and display your bottles of liquor and spirits. These bottles can quickly take up precious counter space. Some resort to using a charming bar cart, but this isn't the best solution when floor space is limited. Instead, create a bar shelf to showcase your collection. This can be as simple as some beautiful wood floating shelves, a renovated bookshelf or china cabinet, or a full-on wood built-in that you can use for display of other items as well.

15. Add a mudroom addition to your home

(Photo by Locale Design Build)

Adding a small mudroom addition off the side of your house is a great idea for homeowners looking for increasing floor and storage space within their home. A dedicated mudroom is a great place to remove dirty shoes and hang up jackets, as well as store extra winter clothing and sports gear when not in use. A mudroom off the back of the house can also function as a laundry room. Dedicated mudrooms are a great way of keeping your home tidier and increase the value of your property as well.  

16. Sneak a home office into unused spaces

A growing number of people are working from home and the need for home office space is growing. Even if you don't have an entire room to spare you don't need to resort to taking over the dining room table. Instead look for spaces in your home where you can renovate it into a home office. Two examples include closets and space under a staircase. Though you won't have a complete office, you will have desk space and some storage to call your own.

17. Replace cheap light fixtures with something new

New homes are often outfitted with fairly basic light fixtures, which hardly do much other than provide a socket for a lightbulb. Replacing old or cheap light fixtures with something new doesn't take a lot of time, but is a highly effective finishing touch to any room. When replacing light fixtures, consider statement light fixtures in otherwise bare or basic rooms or adjustable spotlight fixtures.   

When setting goals for your personal life in 2018, consider also making a plan to give your home a new look as well. The featured 17 ideas are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of ways you can renovate your home, from budget-friendly choices like painting your cabinets right up to larger, more transformative renovations like a new deck. Whatever tops your home’s to-do list this year, goodluck and have fun, for there’s no greater sense of accomplishment than seeing your hard work come to life!

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