Your home is a place of refuge and a launching pad for productivity in your work and personal life. It deserves attention and maintenance to meet your needs and retain its value. Winter is the perfect time to envision how you’d like to upgrade your house during the warm summer months. 

Updates can include anything from adding new paint and crown molding to building an addition or even installing an elevator. Here are seven surprising things you may want to add to your home this year. 

1. Porch Furniture

During the last few years, people have spent much more time at home. Creating a comfortable outdoor space will give your family a place to breathe fresh air and enjoy the environment without ever having to leave home. Porch furniture can create an outdoor extension of your home that’s similar to adding new indoor space. 

Arranging furniture, plants, and lanterns on your porch can also significantly increase your curb appeal and make the exterior of your home more welcoming for guests. Choose items that suit your climate as well as your home, and remember to bring textiles and cushions inside when it rains. 

2. Shoe Organizer

As your kids grow, so will their shoes. To preserve your peace of mind, it’s essential to have a plan and a place to shore everyone’s shoes. These can be built-in cubbies, large drawers, or a vertical shoe rack that hangs on the wall or the back of a door. 

Although the ideal place for shoe organizers is in the entryway, shoes can also be stored in bedrooms or stacked in an easily accessible coat closet. Keep your storage units clean by adding outdoor and indoor mats for wiping off mud and snow as your little people come inside. 

3. Secret Entrance

At some point, everyone has desperately wanted to discover a hidden room. Secret passageways and hidden entrances have filled the pages of mystery stories like the Nancy Drew series for years. There’s something so exciting about a house that has secrets revealed only to its homeowners. 

If it fits with your home’s layout, you can make all your childhood dreams come true by creating a secret entrance to a room somewhere in your house. One of the best places to put a secret entrance is between your kids’ bedroom and playroom. Libraries are also fun spaces to enclose with a secret entrance.

4. Residential Elevator

Adding an elevator to your home can increase its property value and ease of use. Residential elevators are very different from the clunky elevators you see in businesses. They come in a variety of styles and add elegance to your home

A home elevator is an excellent way to save space in homes with a small floor plan. They also provide convenient access for elderly or disabled residents and visitors to the rest of the house with little trouble or danger to their wellbeing. Your kids will also enjoy riding their very own elevator inside their home.  

5. Sunny Playroom 

Sunrooms are spaces with extensive windows that bring sunshine and warmth inside your home. They’re perfect for kids’ playspaces, house plants, and reading corners. You can design a sunroom to add to your home or consider integrating more windows into an already existing room.

Unlike greenhouses, sunrooms don’t have a glass roof. They’re a convenient way to bring the indoors inside while still maintaining an indoor feel. Sunroom windows can easily be fitted with transparent insulation to keep the cold out during the winter and heat at bay during the summer. Be prepared for a new sunroom to become your favorite room in the house. 

6. Solar Tubes

One of the challenges of designing a home is creating a protective structure that also allows natural light inside. While artificial light illuminates homes well, it doesn’t bring the many benefits of natural light, including improved mood, focus, and regulation of your body’s natural circadian rhythms. 

Solar tubes provide an innovative solution for dark interior spaces in your home. These tunnels are similar to skylights in that they bring natural light inside. However, solar tubes are designed to look more like artificial lighting and direct sunlight to a focused entry point in your ceiling. They require little maintenance and can reduce your energy bill. 

7. Attic Insulation 

Although adding insulation to your attic won’t make much difference in the appearance of your home, it can save you money and help to keep your home warm and safe for years to come. A lot of warm air escapes out of your attic, so adding insulation can help maintain internal temperatures with less work from your HVAC system

Attic insulation also protects your roof from forming ice dams. When hot air escapes through your roof during the winter, it can melt snow and cause build-up along the eaves. Eventually, this built-up snow can move back up your roof, permeating roof tiles and causing internal water damage. Insulating your attic is an inexpensive way to ensure this never happens. 

Ready to Renovate?

Although some of these home updates make life more convenient, others are just fun. Use these suggestions to spice up your living space and create a home you and your family love to come back to at the end of the day.

Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief of Momish Magazine and believes in science, that climate change is real, and is doing her part to keep Mother Earth healthy for the future of her four kids.