GUEST ARTICLE: Five renovations that have the biggest impact on your home’s practicality and value

  • 15 Oct 2018

Our homes are an investment and somewhere we’re looking to improve and adapt all the time. There are plenty of ways to improve your home’s practicality and increase its value – here are five of the most highly recommended areas to focus your attention from Tracey Flowerco-founder of Ashford Kitchens and Interiors.


Kitchens: The Heart of Our Home

Of all places to renovate the first on the list should be the kitchen. It is here space and practicality are most desired. The kitchen is the room that you spend most waking hours, the room that sees most household activity and the room in which your days begin and end.

Kitchens are not always the easiest rooms to renovate, however, and they come in a plethora of different shapes and sizes, but there is a general rule of thumb for kitchen designers of starting with the ‘Kitchen Triangle.’

At each point of your triangle should be your stove, refrigerator and sink. This concept is one reason Galley kitchens are becoming less and less popular these days and the popularity of kitchen islands is skyrocketing.

A kitchen redesign could be costly and is obviously dictated by the circumstances and size of your kitchen. If you have the opportunity to knock a wall down and expand the kitchen to install a kitchen island – go for it, it’s an absolute must and will have a huge impact on both practicality and value.

In some cases a large renovation to the kitchen might be long overdue and a necessary measure but not always. If your kitchen is looking outdated a simpler renovation is possible.

Give the cabinets a fresh coat of paint, install glass doors that create the illusion of a more spacious kitchen and look into pull-out bins that are both space-saving and more hygienic.

These simple measures can give your kitchen a new lease of life and change it from being a cluttered and claustrophobic room to a spacious, comfortable kitchen that boosts the value of your home. 

Merging Living Spaces

Merging living and dining spaces to create an open plan living area is another brilliant move. It’s another that’ll have you asking yourself why it wasn’t done ages ago.

Open plan rooms are nowadays on most people’s checklists when looking at homes. Redesigning a property’s structure is a meticulous operation that requires the expertise of trained professionals but it is without a doubt one of the largest ways you can improve your property’s practicality and value.

Especially if you are living with size restrictions. You might not have a loft or garage to convert, or the space to extend into, but you can certainly open your property up by merging rooms that already exist within.

Knocking down a wall between a living room and dining room or kitchen could ultimately save on the cost of an extension. It can very occasionally even be a DIY job if the wall isn’t load bearing but either way if a wall can be removed to merge two rooms it is nearly always an absolute must.

The extra space available with an open plan like the one seen in the image below adds so much comfort to your property and it really blows visitors away.

Let There Be Light!

The first things on a person’s mind when it comes to property value are usually to do with space and style. How many bedrooms? Does it have a back garden? Georgian, Edwardian or Modern?

A huge, huge factor in property value, and one that is sometimes forgotten about, is the amount of natural light that enters a building. State of the art design nowadays puts natural light at the top of its priorities. Exposure to natural light has undoubted positive effects on health, happiness and productivity.

Installing glass ceilings or extra windows may seem like a difficult task but they’re deceptively simple and completely transform a room, especially if it provides a view.

Make windows the centrepiece by removing things from their line of sight and shuffling the furniture to let light flood the room as best it can. 

Restoring windows to their former glory with a fresh coat of paint, new window furniture and some stunning curtains or blinds can also have a fantastic impact on your home’s comfort and ultimately increase its value.

A quality pair of curtains goes a long way, adding style and class while also keeping in 40% of the heat that escapes rooms. Ultimately, natural light and paying attention to your windows wellbeing makes for a much more uplifting home, but is also a great way of saving money on energy.

Essential Exterior Space

It is essential that you get your exterior right. A driveway or paved exterior can be hugely influential on both home practicality and value.

Front gardens are seeing a drop in popularity in Britain while the practicality of a paved driveway is one of the things on people’s checklists. When people reach an age where they begin having kids and large families parking becomes of ultimate importance.

If families are moving home, it’s usually because they’re looking for an upgrade on something they’ve already owned and they will be looking for something more practical and comfortable.

A new driveway, in this case, is another must. It’s an easy enough renovation and one that can be done at an affordable price.

Parking up right next to the house has so many safety factors and makes everything a smoother operation.

No more searching for parking spaces, lugging things to the car or other chores when your front exterior accommodates perfectly for the family wheels. There’s no two ways about it, a new driveway increases space, practicality and value.

Entryway Elegance and Efficiency

The outside is the first impression maker that those entering or passing your house judge. A door that is well kept with a bright, clean coat of paint and some outstanding door furniture makes a house gleam with pride.

Paint it a colour that adds character and is warm and welcoming – pastel reds, greens and blues are all controlled colours that are vibrant and neutral in good balance, while a sturdy ornamental door knocker can be a great addition to your entryway at an affordable price.

The installation of a new driveway or paving does not mean that all greenery needs to be eradicated from the front of your home.

Some garden planters make a fantastic addition to any entryway, especially if they’re filled with flowers that combine nicely with the colour and decor or your front door.

Garden planters are low-maintenance but can bring a door to life. A doormat and even a festive wreath can add more warmth to your doorway and again boost that first impression.


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