standard How Swank is Your Home?

3855427953_e84c121824_mMaybe you’re not fully swankified yet. Horror of horrors, maybe you still have to work for a living and balance your checkbook in order to avoid the dreaded “too much month at the end of the money” syndrome. Fear not, swankster in training. We’re going to show you four cool things to give your beer budget home the illusion of luxury. Remember Robin Leach, champagne wishes and caviar dreams? Here we go!

Automate the Heck Out of It
How much would you pay for programmable thermostats that learn to anticipate your preferences and adjust themselves accordingly AND are controlled via a remote control wi-fi or even mobile app when you’re not around? It turns out you can make your home smarter than the rest when it comes to temperature settings with systems starting at around $200. And don’t forget remote-controlled lighting and security systems. Some cable companies, panicked at the steady of outflow of customers to Netflix and Hulu, are beginning to bundle these kinds of smart home features with a cable subscription.

Tweak the Small Stuff
Small changes can have a huge impact on that post-college cookie cutter condo’s interior. There’s no need to undertake a whole-scale makeover. Instead, focus on easily accomplished additions like crown molding or baseboards, interior or exterior shutters, new doors and lighting fixtures, and get rid of those dated bathroom sinks. And you should never, ever underestimate the power of a new coat of paint.

Ask the Sun for Help
Solar power is not just for granola-heads any more. These days it’s not only a snazzy conversation starter about the roof of your house but also can save you some sweet moolah on your energy bill. Okay, okay, it might even be the environmentally responsible thing to do. Such systems used to cost $20,000 or more but a new generation of companies are performing a panel installation for next to nothing – you simply pay them for the energy you use, and the rates are normally lower than those of a standard utility company.

Get Dedicated
Got a hobby? Why not create a dedicated space to it in your home? Are you an origami buff? What would be swankier than having a space set aside for you to spend hour after hour pouring your creative heart into these little paper creatures? Install origami-inspired furniture (whatever that is), carve out a space for your supplies, and hang appropriate artwork in the vicinity. And don’t forget to keep the movie Blade Runner playing constantly.

Put all these ideas to use and there’s a good chance you will have significantly upgraded your friends and family’s estimation of your SQ (swank quotient). Good luck! (Top image: Flickr | williamcho)

* Read more from Swank Life

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The Jake Swank Team