The fact that most of us are spending a lot more time at home right now is no flash news bulletin, as we’re certainly living through interesting new times. But what may be highly worthy of note to millions of American homeowners right now, is that the “Staycation Renovation” movement has been underfoot for more than a decade now. Born out of a natural desire to spend quality time with our loved ones without the rigors and sometimes exorbitant costs of travel, the term “staycation” was an appropriate term for expressing our desire to change the tenor and habitual rhythms that we fall into when we live together month-in and month-out. 

Going on vacation offers a unique kind of excitement, and spirit of adventure comes into play when you check-into a hotel after a long day of travel, order room service for you and your loved ones, and go to sleep knowing that a new city, resort destination or exotic location awaits your collective exploration when the sun comes up! To make this feeling palpable within walls of a home that is excessively familiar, however, is quite the trick, so many thousands of American families and couples have taken the desire beyond mere lip service, by committing to renovation projects that give an area of their home a makeover to help deliver that vacation kind of feeling. Hence, the “Staycation Renovation!” Adding to the industrious satisfaction of undertaking a new home improvement project like this, is the fact that spending a long weekend or a full week together to work on the project …can itself become a staycation! But even if you can’t take the time off of work, it’s still very doable to complete even a large project in just a week, and there’s something gratifying about that kind of timeframe, and here’s why: By the time Sunday afternoon rolls around, and you’re getting ready to go back to work, you’re also applying the final touches on your residential upgrade, and you feel like you accomplished something really special. (Remember, painting tarps on the carpet and hand-tools in the sink…won’t last forever!)

There are some renovations that may require more cash than what you have. But rest assured, you can always access the equity in your home by refinancing. Plan ahead to see if a cash-out refinance is right for your renovation project.

Your Dream Renovation Staycation: 5 Simple Steps

Here are some important tips to keep your set your renovation project up for success:

  • Picture your desired outcome.

You might want to create the feel of a relaxing summer oasis in your bedroom, for example. What things might you change to produce this desired effect? Perhaps adding lightweight, summery linens to your bed and new curtains to match, or painting the walls a soft pastel hue would be a start. You might even install a ceiling fan styled after a tropical plant or tree!

  • Plan your project.

As the time to begin your home improvement project nears, try to walk through the renovation in your mind,  assessing all the necessary supplies to avoid having to continually return to the Lowes, Home Depot or Ace Hardware! Choose your paint colors in-advance, and shop for other key items like furniture, electronics, appliances, or artwork in-advance, so you don’t have to rely on whatever’s available or on sale during that extended weekend or week-long “Staycation Project.”

  • Make your goals attainable, but fun!

If you take a week to upgrade a basement, attic or another area of your home, you’ll enjoy it for the rest of the year, and beyond. (If you think about it, there’s a kind of poetic justice implied here, because we’ve all worked on a day-off before, right? So this is a creative way to take it back!) And while you’re having fun, keep in mind that there are usually significant financial returns on home improvement investments. The Staycation Renovation movement delivers more than just emotional returns! 

  • Don’t reach too far beyond your skills or means.

It’s hard to enjoy a “Staycation” in a house undergoing heavy construction, right? For example, stripping and refinishing your floors causes fumes, and can temporarily create an off-putting environment for relaxation. The more ambitious the project, the more time may be required away from work (or the more time you may have to spend with a hammer in the sink!). If you bite off more than you can chew with a painting project, the worst thing that can happen is you end up with a bad paint job. But if a plumbing project goes wrong, you can end up needing a new house!

  • Wrap up by Sunday.

If you’ve clarified your goals and planned your work at the onset, you’re already on track to finish your renovation on-time, and before the next work-week starts. When the last step in your hands, like hanging a new shower curtain with a beach motif, you can expect to experience a very real sense of completion!

If you have some vacation time coming up and some money on your hands, maybe you’d like to consider taking on a bigger project. We’ve included some suggestions for you here:

There’s Nothing Like A Fresh Coat of Paint!

Very few things are quite as impactful to a home as a fresh coat of paint, and maybe a brighter color can help home become a place you may wish to travel to! Saturated colors can require second and even third coats, but you should be able to paint several rooms in a week with a summary pastel, for example. Keep in mind that painting a room also necessitates cleaning that room, so plan on spending some extra time. Remember also that once a room is painted, especially in cases where the change in color is dramatic, many homeowners find themselves reevaluating the contents of their shelves, art, lamps or other furniture, and even carpeting or flooring. Interior decorators like to say “Paint provides a fresh start.”

The Kitchen “Staycation” Remodel:

A backsplash can be replaced in a week, and this one modification can present the appearance that your kitchen cabinets have had a makeover. By contrast, many of our do-it-yourself homeowner clients have methodically painted all of the cabinets and doors – or swapping out the pulls – over the course of a couple of days. One of our loyal clients reported that a new backsplash and freshly painted cabinets make it look like you have a whole new kitchen!

The Bathroom Beach Makeover:

Some cosmetic remodeling can make a big difference in the average American bathroom, such as digging out and replacing old grout, or scrubbing it with a bleach pen. Adding a fresh coat of paint on the walls here, and the addition of a dimmer switch to the light overhead for atmosphere, and suddenly your bathroom no longer feels like a hospital! Trading-up for some luxury towels and a new, a shower caddy for bath supplies and a mildew-free shower curtain and now we’re getting beachy! Taking home renovations and improvements into consideration overall, bathrooms can often be overlooked, but it’s having that space feel like a peaceful getaway, is definitely home “Staycation” material! 

The Basement Getaway:

Often basements don’t have adequate light because they don’t have windows. So if you’re going to spend some “staycation” time in this space, you’re going to need to bring in as much inviting light as you can to make it cozy and comfortable. There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Select one cool lighting fixture to have an electrician hang from the ceiling. You want it to be unique and a talking point because it becomes the focal point of the room.
  2. Mix metals by using several different lamps throughout the space, such as lamps for side tables and a few floor lamps. One way to bring consistency to those lamps is to have them all share the same lampshade or shades with complementary designs.
  3. Next, you want to consider offsetting the dark, dingy association we all have basements. Even though many “man caves” have succeeded at creating masculine vibes, your basement “staycation” needs to feel cozy, lighthearted and fun, if at all possible. So mix your hues and your fabrics. For example, a soft and handsome leather couch with a few furry throw pillows. This is a perfect example of mixing a distinguished, masculine element like a leather couch with a more subdued comfortable decor item, like furry pillows! Another thought here: Basement floors can be cold and uninviting, so you may wish to consider getting a new carpet or possibly some wood flooring if it can work with your budget.  Choose a beautiful furry rug that will feel soft and warm beneath your feet. After all, you may be walking barefoot while you’re away!

From Bedroom to Kid Funland!

When children are home from school, transition periods between schools (such as starting kindergarten, middle school or high school) create the opportunity for a fresh “Staycation-Inspired”) perspective on a child’s room. Your daughter may just be ready to trade her pale-pink walls for a favorite grass-green hue, changing-up the feel of the room, and possibly expressing an emerging identity. “Staycation Renovations” involving children can be a lot of fun, as we’ve seen from our residential customers. Most children love being invited to engage in the getaway effect that your project promises to produce, and they love to participate! Whether choosing artwork, new colors or buying new bedding, this is a great example of including them in the world you create for your children. You might even be able to trick them into doing some paint rolling!

The Great Outdoors

Transforming an outdoor space in one week or less is something we’ve seen time and time again. Constructing a clay path that leads through a simple, flowering garden archway to a backyard patio and lounge chair. You might also think about integrating easy space-saving changes to your yard or adding some trees and native plants to your landscaping. 

For the couples and families who live together in homes, townhouses, and condominiums all over our country, vacations take us outside and away from our routines which usually revolve around busy work schedules and life’s day to day responsibilities. Many of us count the memories we have from our vacations in the past among the happiest memories of our lives. A “Staycation Renovation” has the potential to lay the groundwork to create relaxing and memorable moments together with our loved ones at home for years to come. 

And let’s not forget the cost-effectiveness of a “Staycation” as opposed to actual travel, or the safety aspect that is underscored by the public health challenges that we’ve been introduced-to in 2020. Many healthcare professionals and scientists have proclaimed that we’ve entered a new reality; one where we’re all going to be spending a lot more time at home. What better time, then, to be making improvements to our homes? This not only increases the value of them for resale one day in the future, but it also allows us to change-up that rhythm and those repetitive patterns that all domestic families can fall into as a result of the hustle & bustle of modern American life.