People rave about wood floors, I love wood ceilings. Please share your favorite home improvement. I don't want return on investment - what you live with and what you enjoy day to day. What single item you have in your home that makes it special.
I've done so much to our current home that it's hard to pick. Converted an ugly and poorly constructed sunroom into a playroom, art studio and sewing area with built in bookshelves and a lighted sunken display area for paintings. Laid patterned wood floors as well as some carpet. Added dimming track lighting over the fireplace to illuminate special paintings. Just finished a covered deck with ceiling fan and rope lighting around the "ceiling". Installed new kitchen countertops and sink. New, nice bathroom sink. All new plumbing fixtures. A shower "wall" in the tub. Automated sprinklers. A stone patio. In 15 years you can do a lot.
Overall, though, I guess I have the most fun with lighting. There is so much you can do with it as accents - lighting doesn't need to be just a fancy candle in the ceiling. Fans with beautiful fixtures, florescent where a BIG candle is needed, indirect lighting, automatic switching via motion sensors, low voltage in the yard. The single strand of LED rope lights around that new deck light it enough to read by, draws almost no current and no bugs and has no bright spots like a normal light. Our large Thomas Kincaid print has the dimming track lights on it with the result (common to his paintings) that the picture changes under different lighting conditions.
Lighting possibilities can be fun.
I've done quite a bit to my old house, too. It was built in 1926, and had been repo'd from a partying coke head, so it had a lot of clean up before any real work could begin. But it's a beautiful Craftsman style, so it was worth it. My favorite remodeling result is replacing 18 old windows with double-glazed windows that are accurate for the house and can be flipped in so they can be cleaned inside and out from inside the house. It's a two story house, so that's a real treat. And it's sooo nice not to hear the windows rattling in the wind!
My favorite projects as they were being done were opening up the wasted eave space under the steep roof line, and creating walk-in closets in the two bedrooms (I did those by myself). Then a friend and I added a bathroom and linen area in what was the cluster of old small closet spaces and wasted eave space on the other side of the house. I really felt my muscles then - today's woman, hear me roar! (Well, with help from a very handy male friend.)
Adding space, converting wasted space is always great. When I re-did my sunroom it had an old concrete stoop on end from what used to be an exterior door. I built a pantry over the stoop, using the old door to enter it from the kitchen area. Probably the single most useful change I've made.
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