Your house is your home base. It needs to reflect your busy, active lifestyle by working to your advantage, whether that’s in terms of efficiency, advanced technology, or simple comfort and style.
No matter when you’re lacking on the home front, these five essential upgrades will do wonders for your humble abode (and give you a few good reasons for a not-so-humble brag).
#1: Energy-Efficient Heating & Cooling Systems
Old, dingy furnaces and central cooling systems are more than just ineffective—they’re expensive (and ineffective).
Basically, you’re paying more for less.
Upgrading your HVAC system can be quite costly, but it’s a long-term investment that pays off. You’ll spend less each month on utilities, plus a new, energy-efficient system goes a long way in terms of resale value.
#2: Laminate Floors
Plenty of folks will tell you to upgrade to hardwood floors, but here’s what they don’t tell you. Real wood flooring is expensive and incredibly scratch-prone (plus it doesn’t look all that much better than other “wood-adjacent” options).
Laminate flooring can even be an easy DIY project with tons of available options to suit each room’s unique style:
- Pewter Oak for something simple but timeless
- Frosted Pine for a brighter, off-white look
- Tuscan Range Maple for a distressed and rustic aesthetic
- Bronzed Brazilian Acacia for deep, rich brown tones
- Natural Hackberry for a distinct, varied look in every panel
- Foggy Bottom Oak for an upscale vintage vibe
High-quality flooring really ties a room together (without the allergens, limited lifespan, and blow-up-inducing spills and stains that are all too common with carpet). Spend less time cleaning and vacuuming, and more time enjoying your stunning living space.
#3: A Better Mattress
We’ve all heard the statistics: the average person spends a third of their lives in bed. With so much time wasted (or thoroughly enjoyed, depending on who you ask), our bed should at least be of good quality.
The truth is that a good mattress makes a big difference. You want to look for something that checks the following boxes:
- Comfortable Goldilocks-style firmness
- Ample support where you need it most
- Long-term durability that won’t wear out after a few years
- Cooling technology that carries heat away from the body (an added bonus!)
For all that, you need the best foam mattress money can buy—which, thankfully, isn’t even that much money.
#4: A Luxurious Rain Shower
Okay, so your hygiene routine isn’t exactly the highlight of your day, but it can easily become an enjoyable experience to look forward to rather than another task to squeeze in each morning.
A luxurious rain shower head is an easy way to transform a meh space into a spa-like oasis without spending too much time or energy. While you’re transforming the bathroom, you can also take a look at these additional upgrades:
- Replace the old tile with a vibrant new inlay
- Insert frameless glass shower doors for a modern, classy aesthetic
- Install decorative grab bars or an in-shower bench for future accessibility
- Pick up a second showerhead (because the more, the merrier, right?)
- Go all out with a complete upgrade to an enclosed steam shower
#5: A Smart Home System
The smart choice would be installing a tricked-out tech system to control some of the most basic functions of your house—but nothing like the possessive automated home system from Smart House.
You’ll want a central control hub, like the Amazon Echo or Google Nest, which you can link up to compatible systems and devices, including:
- Lighting fixtures with dimmer capabilities and automated timers
- Thermostats that let you set a heating and cooling schedule
- A home security system with cameras, motion-sensor floodlights, a two-way front door intercom, and a network of programmable alarms—especially important for when you finally start traveling again and have to leave your baby (ahem, house) unattended
- Whole-house audio systems that can play either synced up or separately
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
And in the near future, probably a whole lot more! But for now, that’s a great place to start.
A Happy Home for a Happy Family
It’s fun to deck your halls with some bells and whistles, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the people you share your life with. Your home has to work for you—all of you.
And if it doesn’t? Well, there’s always an upgrade right around the corner that can make your home that much better.