Updating Your Home? Get the Most Bang for Your Buck!

I love spring because it brings new life to my family and our home as I finally step outside after a Canadian winter hibernation. All of a sudden everywhere I look there are new home projects that I want to take on, but I have limited time and budget to do them all. The other problem is we are not certain that this is our forever home (we have some soul searching to do before the mortgage renewal is up). That doesn’t mean I don’t want to put any love into this space. I still want to be proud of my home and have confidence to entertain, but it does mean I need to be smart about our choices financially. Whatever we do to our home until we know our future plans must have a strong ROI (return on investment). 

So whether you are staying put for the foreseeable future or looking to list your house this spring, if you’re thinking about updating your home it doesn’t hurt to know where you will get a better bang for your buck.


All too often the exterior of a house gets overlooked. But keep in mind this is the first thing anyone sees and makes a huge difference on the sale of a home. Start to boost a houses curb appeal by simply taking care of the landscape, reviewing the walkway patio stones and painting out the door (and brick if applicable). And don’t forget to include a nice seated area for yourself so you can enjoy the outdoors when the weather is nice!

Home exterior - before
Exterior – before
when updating your home, don't forget the exterior - Lara Young for Nesting Story
Exterior – after


Thinking of replacing your flooring with hardwood throughout sounds like a big expensive project, but it truly makes a world of a difference to the overall look of your home. Not only will you be able to reap the benefits of a beautiful new floor but your home listing reading “hardwood floors throughout” can make a big difference to the sale of a home. 

Don’t forget to consider the finish of the hardwood. If you have dogs, babies, kids (or all of the above), and you choose a flooring with a smooth finish you will see every scratch and crumb. Do yourself a favor and price out a hand scraped finish which will last a lifetime in your home. 

Dining Room
Dining Room

Kitchen and Bath

Surely you have heard many times that the kitchen and bathroom are the best places to put money into your house, but that’s because it hasn’t stopped being true. Of course you are looking for a beautiful kitchen or bathroom in a home, and so is any buyer. When updating your home putting money into these spaces (within reason) is a win win. No buyer wants to walk in and see a huge renovation project. So make those spaces appealing now, so you can really enjoy them. Then when you are looking to sell, that past renovation will be a major selling feature.

bathroom before
bathroom – before
bathroom inspiration for updating your home - Lara Young for nesting story
bathroom – after


Purge, neutralize and Konmari your space!  Whatever you want to call it don’t wait till you list your home to stage it in a way that will make you happy to live in a clear space. Take a step back and look at your home and ask yourself, “if I was listing to sell, what clutter areas would I be clearing out first?” then make that your project! All too often people wait to list their home to purge, only to wish they had done it sooner. 

When updating your home, the same goes for paint and décor. Buy the throw pillows and the plants now so you can actually enjoy them. You can easily choose a paint color that will be appealing to the masses while still making your house feel homey now without having to repaint down the line.

family room declutter
Family room declutter

I don’t know what the next ten years holds, but I do hope to achieve a balance in my home that suite whatever path my family and I go down.

Lara Young is the Principal of Lara Young Design, and also a new mom. Like many of us Lara is trying to find that quintessential work/life balance. Being her own boss is bringing Lara one-step closer to her dream. You can read Lara’s full bio, or contact her to help with your next design project here.