The kids are off to college or living in homes of their own, and suddenly you have a lot of extra house on your hands.
Some couples choose to downsize to a smaller home, but others want to stay put. Maybe the housing market isn't great and they don't want to try to sell until it improves, or maybe they love their home and neighborhood and just don't want to ever leave.
5 Ways to Repurpose Your Home
“Many older houses … have smaller bedrooms that can be combined if they are adjacent and the floor plan conducive,” writes Marcelle Fischler for The New York Times. This gives your guests a place to retreat to during a visit, or a place to lay your future grandkids down for a nap! (If you build it, they will come, right?)
Mount the TV on the wall, get some great speakers and install some blackout curtains, and you'll have a theater experience in your own home.
But if sewing is your thing, you could turn a spare room into a sewing room. Or if your husband commandeers the TV from fall until Super Bowl, maybe a man cave with a soundproof door is the best use for the room.
A few practical changes can make your house comfortable and inhabitable for the rest of your life. For instance, as we age, it becomes more difficult (if not impossible) to step over the side of a tub. Risk of falling increases as well, which can cause serious injury to an elderly person. One solution is a walk-in tub, which have a door for easy entry and exit.
Smaller Steps to Spiff Things Up
Case Design Remodeling in Washington, D.C. offers the following advice: “Even if you don't do a major remodel, home improvement projects such as fresh paint, replacing old, worn out furniture and redoing floors in high-traffic areas can help make your home look new again and give it some much-needed updates.”
April Dykman is a columnist for Improvement Center. Copyright QuinStreet, Inc. 2011-2014. All Rights Reserved.