Top 5 Home Improvements for the Best ROI in 2018

The weight of the word “January” can feel quiet heavy, would you agree? Symbolically, it means so much.  Popular synonyms are “to do list” “resolutions” “goals” “I gotta get my life” LOL and much of the like.  Then, you proceed to make a list covering work life and home life, you're gaining momentum and begin to feel excited about finding some clarity, creating a plan AND it goes right back to feeling sooo heavy again.

I’m a stern believer that a clear mind starts at home, it's emotional but it also comes from what I call "pride in space".  I teach this concept of “Pride In Space” in my design classes and how a well-designed and organized home can elevate how you feel about yourself, your day, your plans, your life.  I truly live and believe this.

I'm sure most homeowners can relate, there’s always a home project in the works.   I’m here for you in 2018, let’s attain that essential “Pride In Space” the smart way and gain that clear mind in the process. 

Do you have a list of home improvements you want to tackle this year?  The answer is most likely yes.  While trying to decide what to do first, according to, here’s what’s trending to be the biggest bangs for your buck in 2018:


1. Smart Home Technologies

“The most recent Global Real Estate Report states 76% of buyers agree: Having a ‘smart home’ is very important. ”  [source:]

I wholeheartedly can confirm this trend.  In fact, all of my clients in 2017 requested the use of smart home technology.  Voice Control for the Smart Home is definitely the dominant request and is steadfast on reaching mainstream usage. A  handy virtual assistant can do the work from raising the shades and turning off the lights, to adjusting the temperature and playing your favorite playlist.

Amazon is the front runner in this category with their Echo line. Their countertop devices {I personally got Alexa for $39 during the holidays for my 12 year old} can be plugged in throughout the home.  These devices can be programmed to control smart home technology from dozens of manufacturers who have Echo integrations. No longer the stuff of imagination, voice control in the home is live and growing fast.

2. Outdoor Living Spaces

“According to a recent survey, 51% of home buyers find outdoor living spaces the most attractive quality when searching for their perfect home, more so than open floor plans and curb appeal. As such, outdoor spaces are becoming an ideal investment, not only for current homeowners’ enjoyment, but also for sellers looking to bring added value to a home for future sale.”  [source:]

For me, living in Miami, outdoor living spaces have always been a huge deal.  What this trend says to me is that we have become a society so much more aware of the value of design, we now carry that throughout our homes and create the experience outdoors as well.  This goes far beyond cute lounge chairs and pretty flowers.  It’s ALL about the experience!

3. Maximizing Energy Efficiency

“When thinking of energy efficiency, people often go straight to solar panels. However, smaller changes like upgrading your HVAC, water heater, or windows can also cut energy costs — resulting in an accumulation of savings over time. You can even make improvements as simple as adding solar-powered lighting to your front yard, which will help increase overall savings.”  [source:]

For sure, this is an ongoing trend whose cost-friendly options grow by the year.  Currently, I have only LED bulbs in my home and I can’t remember the last time I changed a bulb.  This is a huge efficiency upgrade when I think of years past.  I remodeled my kitchen almost 3 years ago and I have yet to change a LED bulb anywhere in my kitchen. HUGE DEAL!  I also have a tankless water heater, hurricane impact windows which seal the home and are a much stronger sound barrier to what’s going on outside, etc.  Start somewhere, it makes a difference.

4. Modernized Bathrooms

Modern bathroom trends are staying the same in 2018 as in 2017. Clean lines with rustic touches. Adding grays into the color scheme is also very popular right now and most consider this the greatest non-offensive tone to go choose from. Be careful, though, buyers like a very light gray. Some darker grays can come across as purple in certain lights.” [source:]

Upgrading bathrooms is a top ROI trend that will probably never leave us {along with kitchens, IMHO}.  We all love a beautiful bathroom {and kitchen ;-)}.  If you’re design savvy and have a tight budget, have no fear because the affordable tile, fixtures and other options are plentiful and all over.  You don’t need expensive materials to create a WOW space, you just have to understand how to put it all together!

5. Refreshed Finishes

    “Not all renovations have to be huge. I like to suggest that homeowners update their finishes before they go to sell because it’s not always easy for buyers to visualize the potential of a space. If a space is really run down and a buyer thinks that he will have to redo everything, it’s easy to either over or underestimate the cost to achieve what it could look like. Older finishes also eliminate a big chunk of the buyers out there who just aren’t willing to do the work.” [source:]


    Hhmm, finishes? Think along the lines of simple upgrades of handles / pulls on cabinet doors and drawers, door knobs, updating baseboards, changing the old switchplate covers, etc.  Also, assess the need to update your window treatments, blinds or curtains. a fresh coat a paint goes a mighty long way as well.  All of these small upgrades make a world of a difference in the level of design in your home.

    Odds are your wish list of home improvements probably includes a fair mix of both needs and wants.  If or until you decide to sell, this is your home so create the space(s) that you dream of.  If you’re actually closer to the point of potentially selling, keep in mind this list above.

    Have any questions or thoughts you'd like to share, please drop them in the comments below.  I’d love to hear from you on what you plan to do to with your home in 2018.

    Oh, and don't forget to subscribe in the footer below.  More killer designer gems coming your way.  Thanks for stopping by.  One Love, Taj

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