Adding Value To Your Home (Without BreakingThe Bank)

The Smallest Room In The House


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Local property renovator Colleen De Spaey guides you through her top tips for increasing the value of your property. She starts with that often forgotten space: the downstairs WC.

For most homeowners, their property is the single greatest asset they may ever own. The most expensive, too: the average homeowner will spend over 22 years of their life paying off a mortgage. So it’s no wonder property owners are keen to enhance the value of their property as much as they can.

Over half of UK homeowners now say they plan to make improvements to their property rather than embark on a costly move. Owning a designer kitchen is top of the wish list, while other expensive dream additions include en-suite bathrooms, games rooms and even swimming pools.

But adding value to a property doesn’t have to be the reserve of the basement excavators and loft extenders. You don’t need to break the bank to add that WOW factor to your home. Not if you start with the smallest room in the house.

While many homeowners lavish all kinds of exciting décor on their dining rooms and designer kitchens, that little water closet under the stairs is frequently left unloved and ignored, something to gesture at vaguely with a mumbled “down the corridor second on the left”, never to be spoken of again. Yet this is the room that may get more scrutiny than any other. Unlike the more social hubs of your home, you probably won’t be there to distract a visiting surveyor or potential buyer from that peeling corner of wallpaper, the slightly askew mirror, the little crack on the shelf.

But as the smallest room, it is also the cheapest to decorate. The design impact of your downstairs facilities can be huge, at minimal cost. And that WOW factor could immediately catch the eye of a buyer, making your property truly stick in their mind and stand out from the rest.

Experiment as much as you like – you can afford to take a risk with a room this size. Try some funky wallpaper instead of tiles; even high-end designer wallpaper is affordable if you only have a small accent wall to cover. Mirrors, too, can create brilliant sensations of space and light, but won’t break the bank as the square meterage is so low.

Any look can be created in a room this size. One Oxford don famously recreated the lift from Pall Mall’s distinguished Athenaeum Club in his tiny WC. After all, mahogany paneling is a lot cheaper to source if you’ve only got 2.5sqm of wall to fill. Meanwhile, a local Chiswick resident designed their smallest bathroom with huge 1.2m high tiles beneath wallpaper depicting audience members in theatre boxes peering down into the room, making each visitor the star of the show.

The impact of a bathroom with flair can’t be understated - because if care and attention is given to this little room, your buyers might start imagining what they themselves could do with the rest of the rooms in your home.

From Urban to Edwardian, Steampunk to Sci-Fi, what better, cheekier way of creating a talking point for your guests and potential buyers than by creating a fabulous, creative and impressive little sanctuary under the stairs? For those wishing to sell, it could be the final flourish that nudges a buyer into saying yes.




November 26, 2015