(BPT) - The leaves and the weather don't need to be the only things to change this season. As the cooler temperatures send you indoors, start adding home improvement projects to your to-do list.
Why now? According to a recent survey by Houzz.com, 78 percent of homeowners are looking to improve the look and feel of their space; while 54 percent are looking to add functionality. Here are a few project ideas to get your home feeling and looking fabulous.
From boring to bold baths
The bathroom topped the 2014 Houzz & Home Survey renovation project list - likely since its one room in the house that's used every day. If your bathroom is boring, basic or just outdated, it's time to make a change - even on a budget.
Faucets are a simple and affordable way to instantly renew the look and functionality your bath. Moen's Darcy bathroom collection
, available at The Home Depot, includes transitionally styled faucets with a soft-modern look and water-saving benefits to offer the best of form and function and give you a beautiful bath in no time. The collection is also available in Moen's Spot Resist Brushed Nickel finish, so you'll save time cleaning, too, as it helps resist water spots and fingerprints.
Weather the winter wisely
No one wants to spend money on high energy bills, but according to the National Resources Defense Council, approximately one-third of a home's total heat loss usually occurs through windows and doors that aren't insulated properly. Don't throw money out your windows; updates such as weather stripping can keep out cool air while keeping the needed warm air in.
And don't stop there; simple tasks, such as replacing worn-out caulk, insulating your outlets, and prepping your windows with plastic cling for the winter months can significantly reduce your heating and cooling bills.
Quick and convenient kitchen upgrade
Cool weather means less barbecuing and more indoor cooking. As the entertaining hub and family gathering place, it's no wonder the kitchen is the second top renovation project on the Houzz list. What are homeowners looking to update? Twenty-one percent want a new kitchen faucet.
From prep to clean-up, the kitchen faucet is a major workhorse - and a focal point - in the kitchen. So, if you're living with a builder basic, it's time for an upgrade. Pulldown faucets are a popular choice, such as the new Hensley kitchen faucet from Moen. Not only will it add a heightened aesthetic and functionality with its Spot Resist Stainless finish, but it also features Moen's innovative Reflex system, that self-retracts and securely docks to provide smooth operation and easy movement, offering a more convenient kitchen experience. In addition, the faucet features Microban antimicrobial protection - built-in to the faucet finish - to help inhibit the growth of stain- and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew. For more information, visit moen.com
Get fired up
Nothing feels better on a cold night than getting cozy by a fire, but be sure your fireplace is prepped for the season. For a wood-burning fireplace, inspect the chimney for nests or cracks. Next, be sure to clean it thoroughly to remove creosote, which is unburned fuel, to prevent unwanted fires. For gas-burning fireplaces, be sure the airways of the pilot and main burners are working properly and the blower is clean. Finally, be sure you have working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, as well as an operational fire extinguisher nearby. Soon you'll (safely) enjoy the warm glow during cold winter days.
Focus on fixtures and fans
As the days get shorter and there's less natural light, you may notice your fixtures a lot more. For added illumination and energy savings, update incandescent bulbs with brighter, ENERGY STAR-rated bulbs which use about 75 percent less energy and last 10 to 25 times longer. Next, focus on your ceiling fans. Start by cleaning the blades with a gentle detergent and switch the blades to rotate clockwise. Changing this setting pushes warm air down into the room, making it feel warmer while saving up to 15 percent on heating costs.
Check off your home improvement to-do list with these simple changes. Your home will look and feel fabulous, and be more efficient, as the cooler weather approaches.