The start of a new year inspires a new start, and that can also include ways to improve your home. A safe, comfortable and inviting living environment makes it easier to keep your other New Year’s resolutions. With that in mind, let’s resolve to explore these home improvement options in 2015:

pantone marsala in the kitchen

1. Use the Pantone Color of 2015: Marsala

The beauty of paint is that it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. The benefit of color is that it affects your mood. Pantone’s color for 2015 is a “naturally robust and earthy wine red (that) enriches our minds, bodies and souls.”  Have some fun and paint just one wall in your kitchen the Marsala color. Or maybe a powder room or the front door. You could even update some old wood furniture with a few coats of Marsala.

2. Tackle a Small Repair Before It Becomes a Big Problem

Save money and time with regular maintenance of your home.  Keep an eye out for irregularities or malfunctions and correct them right away.  For instance, if you put off fixing a loose or missing piece of vinyl siding it can quickly escalate to water damage inside the home or pest infiltration behind the siding. Preventative maintenance is just as good for your home as it is for your health.

lightbulb comparisons

3. Make Your Home Safe and Energy Efficient

There are several quick and relatively inexpensive ways to increase safety while lowering utility bills. Replacing all incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED versions saves you money at the store (you don’t need to buy replacements anywhere near as often) and on your electricity bill (they use far less energy). Installing a programmable thermostat lets you precisely control temperature throughout the day so you’re not wasting money by heating or cooling an empty home.

Bolster the safety of your family by installing carbon monoxide detectors in the hallway outside bedrooms, the kitchen and basement. Recharge the fire extinguishers you already have and add more to areas where fires are most likely to start, like the kitchen, garage, or laundry room. Also consider upgrading to a wireless smoke detector system.

4. Take Recycling Outdoors

Recycling garbage has become such the standard that we design recycling containers into kitchen layouts. For the new year, consider taking the concept outside. Start a compost pile (here’s how to build one) so you will have your own, sustainable (and free!) mulch for spring gardening.  And you can reduce your water bills and have healthier water for your gardens with rainwater harvesting.  You can start simple with a rain barrel at your gutter downspouts, and dump that water onto your beds.

expand the kitchen

5. Expand the Heart of the Home

Because we instinctively gather where food and comfort is, designers have noted the return of the eat-in kitchen. You can make the heart of the home even larger by removing walls to adjacent rooms which creates a loft-like space that revolves around the kitchen. Hearth and breakfast room additions are also becoming popular.  In a sense, the kitchen is morphing into a family room with food prep and storage capabilities. Update – or add – a nearby powder room and you’ll have everything you need for your family and guests to be together and at ease.

For help with any of your home improvement New Year’s Resolutions, call the Mosby Building Arts office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.