Photography by: Dan Austin

The updates that could give you the greatest return on investment.

Kitchen and bathroom remodels are some of the most common home improvement projects, and for good reason. Along with these areas often being the most high-use and high-traffic rooms, investing in bathroom and kitchen updates is believed to have the most impact on home resale value. In fact, some reports show that bathroom and kitchen remodels can average up to an 80 percent return.

Depending on your final goals, a remodel can look a number of different ways. It can be a huge investment, but there are also inexpensive ways to refresh old rooms without breaking the bank. From replacing vanities, toilets, and fixtures, remodels at minimal cost also can greatly improve resale.

So if you are looking to revive arguably the two most important rooms in your home, learn from some locals who have been there too, and take a peek at their beautiful remodels to help get you going in the right direction.

Creating an Oasis
Tips for bathroom renovations

1. Take your time – Bathroom remodels offer an endless list of possibilities for styles and fixtures. “Take your time when you’re looking for your tile, hardware, toilets, tubs, and all of that,” says Kristy Scott, who, alongside her husband, Abdiel Gonzalez, recently remodeled the bathroom of their 1925 bungalow. “A lot of times, you think you know exactly what you want, and then you begin to look … you’ll find yourself changing your design a bit. So don’t rush.”

“… you’ll find yourself changing your design a bit. So don’t rush.”

2. Communication is key – “Be sure everyone involved is on the same page,” says Scott. Don’t assume everyone knows where you are heading next. There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to a remodel, so it’s OK to over-communicate with those you are working with. “Sometimes they get stuck in their ways and don’t know when you’re trying to do something new.”

3. Budget what you can’t see – “Always budget for plumbing and electric,” says Scott. These two are the central system to all other components of the renovation, and everything is built around them. In the bathroom, every individual fixture relies on proper plumbing and electric not only to perform optimally, but to be compatible with other fixtures when used simultaneously. “We were surprised how much all of the things you don’t see cost.”


The Heart of the Home
Tips for kitchen renovations

1. Coordinate your backsplash Once you decide on your kitchen countertop, there’s a number of ways you can go with the backsplash. For example, you might want to use the backsplash to seamlessly flow into the neutral tones of your counters. Or, you might choose to contrast the two areas entirely. Whichever way you go, Paige Wagner (who recently flipped this 1925 Beacon Hill historic home) encourages people to try starting their backsplash at the base of their countertops. “A lot of people will do a three-inch granite backsplash and then their funky tile, and that’s a big no-no.”

2. Don’t be afraid of color – Although it’s a classic look, don’t be afraid to break up the all-white kitchen with paint colors and wood stains. Consider adding two-tone cabinets to surprise the eye with an instantly cool look. “Doing two tones and keeping some white gives it the uniformity of some of the most popular designs, but adding a splash of color makes the kitchen feel different and stand out from the rest,” says Wagner.

3. Mix it up – “It’s ‘in’ to do mixed metals,” says Wagner. Warm metals (like gold and brass) can be a nice pop of color when placed with cool metals like silver. Mixing metals is an easy way to layer in texture and make a more interesting look for your kitchen.


Setting the Stage
Magazine-ready décor is attainable with help from Step By Stage

Step by Stage Interiors is a locally owned and operated home staging company. They have successfully been in the design business for 15-plus years, staging for five-plus years, and have helped sell over 500 homes. Their home stagings transform empty properties into homes that look both inviting and lived in.

A special thanks to Step By Stage for staging the featured kitchen.