Renovating your empty nest is a great project to pursue once your kids have all moved out on their own.
You might find yourself wondering how to stay occupied, especially if you’re finding the adjustment period is more challenging than you expected. The improvements or additions you make to your home could not only boost its value but also let you take pride in having a residence that’s more suitable to your child-free period of life.
Renovations also make it easier to accomplish things you’d been holding off on working toward until the kids moved out, such as creating an area that’s great for hosting neighborhood gatherings or changing the living room carpet.
Also, if you’re an Earth-conscious person, it’s easy to renovate in ways that are kind to the planet.
1. Build a deck of composite materials.
A deck can become a soothing haven and place to do things like plant flowers, knit or read books. If you’ve got your sights set on creating a welcoming outdoor space, consider building a deck made of composite materials. Some companies offer deck materials made from things like reclaimed sawdust and recycled plastic bottles. Even better, composite materials are generally very low-maintenance, meaning you can spend more time enjoying your new deck and less time taking care of it.
2. Salvage and reuse existing materials.
Although it may be tempting to tear down areas of your home that are under renovation so you can start fresh, be smart and examine each room carefully to see if there are materials, light fixtures and other things you can re-purpose in some way instead of throwing them away.
Just like a trend has been born out of re-envisioning vintage wedding gowns to make fancy, modern frocks, you can put a fresh face on areas of your home by using things differently to achieve visually appealing results.
3. Improve your windows to save energy.
Windows can make big differences in the energy-efficiency of your home.
Some possibilities, like Fibrex windows, are strong like wood but offer the easy upkeep of vinyl. Plus, they’re made from reclaimed wood so they promote sustainability and have excellent insulation properties that will keep your energy bills lower by making your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
4. Turn to thrift shops for “new to you” furniture.
When renovating their homes, many people immediately look at new varieties of dining room sets, recliners and couches.
Although there’s no harm in doing that, you can be economical by searching thrift stores to find furniture instead. Besides the fun of giving it a try and not knowing just what you’ll end up finding, keep in mind many communities have thrift shops where proceeds go to support local or national charities. By choosing to spend your money there rather than buying new furniture, you’re supporting a good cause and also giving new life to furniture that might have otherwise eventually ended up in a landfill.
5. Put down carpet made from recycled plastic.
Deck material isn’t the only way to reuse plastic bottles.
You can also find carpeting made from the same material.
If you’re generally satisfied with the layout and amenities in a room but think the area needs spicing up, new carpeting can do the trick. It gives you an opportunity to try out a new color or pattern, and can do a lot to brighten up a space, especially if the carpet that’s there now has seen a lot of food and pet stains, or just become faded over time.
With these suggestions while keeping environmental sustainability in mind, you can do your part for the planet and start getting excited about planning to perk up your home.
Image by Jay Mantri
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