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Homeowners are always looking for ways to improve their home and increase its value. But knowing what to spend on and where to save is tricky. You can increase the value with larger remodeling projects or simpler tasks that will only require a free weekend or two. Follow these tips from designer Kirsten McCoy of Meadowbank Designs in Wayne, and your home will be worth more before you know it.

Bathrooms: You spend so much time there, and function can really improve your life and happiness in your home. McCoy suggests upgrading your vanity with better storage. A unique furniture piece adds personality, while a custom medicine cabinet can be made larger if you steal some space from your walls to recess it.

She also suggests playing with tile. “Adding a small inset border of a different material on the floor or the walls of a shower adds a custom look for very little money,” says McCoy.

New wallpapers are available in fabulous patterns that can be coated to be water resistant. A pop of wallpaper can add a lot of personality to a sometimes cold and hard space.

Kitchens: Changing out your backsplash tile is a really quick and easy way to update your look, along with painting over your old cabinets and adding new hardware. Update or add lighting if your kitchen is dim and depressing—better light makes it more inviting.

Flooring: “We get asked a lot about wood floors versus carpeting—do the wood floors,” says McCoy. It is a large up-front cost, but they add value to your home and will outlast any trends or carpet you have.

Electrical upgrades: Technology in lighting is changing so much. People think adding lighting is difficult when, in fact, it is quite easy. McCoy recommends running wire for floor outlets in the middle of a large room to bring much-needed lamps to a sitting area. You can change old, ugly downlights to smaller aperture, LED or low-voltage lighting with just a little bit of patching and painting after they go in.

Use lighting to bring life to your artwork. Illuminate your art collection going up your stairs, which adds an interesting layer of light. “You can even add art lighting to bookcases to highlight collections and bring added ambient lighting to make a cozy mood,” says McCoy.


Kirsten McCoy is one of the principal partners of Meadowbank Designs, located in Wayne on Philadelphia’s Main Line. Whether a project calls for fine art and antiques or dog- and child-friendly rooms, Meadowbank Designs gives attention to detail in all aspects of its work. The firm uses the best artisans and craftsman, and it often custom-creates products for design solutions, whether it’s furniture, wallpaper, textiles, light fixtures, millwork, or something else a client requires—even dishes for the kitchen.

Meadowbank Designs
37 West Ave., Suite 101, Wayne
(610) 688-8090