No sooner has the Christmas turkey settled, on come the adverts for holidays and as well as thinking about where to spend the summer, our minds turn to more immediate things, like home improvements. From fixing that leaking gutter to a complete kitchen makeover, there are many projects that need our attention and now is a good time to start planning.

Where to start

Nothing lifts the spirits more than a revamp of your home, particularly after Christmas. The decorations have been taken down, the tree cast aside in the garden awaiting a trip to the rubbish dump and without the lights, the whole house is looking very sorry for itself. Whether you have a one bed flat or a five bed detached house, you can’t do everything at once, so you need to prioritise.

The Kitchen

In any home, this is often the hub of activity. From cooking meals to simply socialising over a cup of coffee, the kitchen is where most of the action is, so a kitchen makeover could be just what the doctor ordered. This can include anything from changing the doors to a complete remodel, and although you may not be thinking of selling right now, just remember that everything you do will impact on the value in some way.

Whatever you do, don’t neglect the amount of work surfaces you need. It is no good cramming your kitchen full of appliances if you have nowhere to prepare food. If you have the space, and this works great in combined kitchen/dining rooms, consider installing an island. If design isn’t your thing, then it is well worth calling in a specialist kitchen fitter to advise. Most will do this free of charge, but don’t commit to anything until you are absolutely sure you are going to get value for money.

Dining Area

This may be in the same room as the kitchen or totally separate, but the function of this space is 100% related to the kitchen, so must be included in your list of priorities. A new dining table and chairs would be great but maybe all you need is to upcycle what’s there. Pinterest is great for finding new ideas.

The Living Room

The living room is the space away from the kitchen and dining area, which, again, may be part of the same open plan area or a separate room. Either way, it is the area where you and your family or friends relax after a meal, to watch TV or read. If the furniture is fine, why not try a new colour scheme? Look also at the lighting. Can this be improved? You cannot beat subdued lighting when watching a good film.

Your Budget

Always be mindful of the cost of any revamp. A kitchen makeover can be very expensive if you have to move appliances or fittings, so always sit down and think things through before committing to any work. Consider the way your house or apartment works and what needs to be done to improve that. Don’t waste money moving plumbing or electrics unless it is absolutely necessary