Are lower real estate values keeping you in your current home – even though you were hoping to upgrade? Or, maybe you can’t bear the thought of boxing up all your belongings to move? You’re not alone. More homeowners are staying in their current homes, but remodeling with the idea of improving their quality of life and adding more “live-in value,” according to recent research from Consumer Reports.

No matter what your reason for staying put, rest assured; you don’t have to move to get the home of your dreams … just make a few home improvements.

Ooh la la kitchen
Today’s kitchens are no longer a place to simply cook and eat. Your kitchen is the “real” living room – for living, working and entertaining – and the ideal room to improve for added enjoyment.

One project to improve your home and “live-in value” is installing a multilevel kitchen island. Not only does this provide an extra work area, but also an informal place for entertaining guests. Central island cooktops and sinks are another option, keeping cooking and clean-up areas within easy reach.

Tying the overall look of the kitchen together will also help to make a style statement you can live with for years to come. Upgrading to stainless steel appliances is a common choice, especially with the latest technologies – such as built-in flat screen televisions or computers on refrigerators – all with a beautiful high-end finish.

Fashionable faucets
Just think of how much time you spend at the sink, from rinsing fruits and vegetables to filling pots and washing hands and dishes. So why not update this kitchen focal point with a new functional and fashionable faucet? High-arc models with pullout spouts are the most ideal since they allow ample room to fill or clean large pots and pans. Models with multifunction sprays are helpful when washing delicate fruits.

Once you’ve found a model with these useful features, don’t forget about style. Designer finishes, such as stainless steel will give your kitchen a professional look. And, for a designer look that maintains the beauty and brilliance of the faucet’s finish in between cleanings, try Moen’s Renzo pullout kitchen faucet with Spot Resist Stainless finish. This unique finish does just what it says – resists fingerprints and water spots. Moen’s Renzo kitchen faucet is available at Lowe’s.

Storage space explosion
No matter the square footage of your home, accumulating belongings over the years contributes to a lack of storage space. Try to solve this issue by first purging items that you haven’t used within the past six months. Next, you can organize your necessities with a variety of storage systems – from drawer organizers to storage bins. And, if it seems like a task that you can’t handle on your own, hire a company that specializes in organization, such as Closet World, to create a custom-designed solution.

Spa-tacular and sensible baths
Today’s baths have evolved from a task-oriented room to become a private spa. Luckily it’s simple to turn your bath into a private sanctuary. To start, update your current showerhead with a more luxurious and functional design. If you prefer a powerful, full-body spray, perhaps you’d like a rainshower showerhead. Or, if you like options, try a multi-function version that allows you to switch from a relaxing wide spray to an invigorating concentrated spray – or somewhere in the middle. You can find a variety of designs and finishes at your local home improvement store, such as Lowe’s.

And, as in the kitchen, the faucet is a focal point in the small space. Update your current faucet with a new designer style and finish … and with water-saving benefits. Faucets account for approximately 15 percent of indoor household water use – more than 1 trillion gallons across the U.S. each year – so once you’ve found the perfect look, be sure that you choose one that is certified to meet WaterSense criteria.

With these few home improvements you can start recouping your “live-in value” and make your current residence a home sweet home.

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