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OMG! It’s HOW much?!

OMG! It’s HOW much?!

I have a question. Do you know what your “perfect” balance is between what you really want…and what you want to spend when it comes to your home?

Especially with all the time we’ve been spending at home recently, there are some big changes we’ve seen to design and even BIGGER changes we’ve seen within ourselves…among them, the balance we look for between ROI and ROE looks very different today than it did just a year ago. 

I think everyone knows what ROI is…but ROE?! That’s Return On Enjoyment! Think about it…we could all buy a car to get us from A to B that’s SUPER basic, but there are still those features we want…a specific look…feel…and for some, a certain status!

Wouldn’t we buy the car we WANT instead of the absolute cheapest option we find?

Um, YES! We do have to work within a budget, but we choose as many of the features as we can fit into that budget!

Of course ROI and ROE both matter in your home…but how has your scale balancing the two changed since the start of 2020? Has it tipped from one side to the other? Has it been weighted even heavier on one side than it was before?

Let’s take a look together at how to balance ROI and ROE for you and your home so that you can make sound decisions every time!


ROI vs. Do-What-I-Want

I’m a firm believer in working hard to play hard. That “play” is our reward for the hard work…but our idea of “reward” has changed recently for just about everyone.

Feet by pool example of return on enjoyment at homeSpecifically, for so many folks now, sitting in the sanctuary of their backyard with their feet in the pool is their idea of that happy, golden moment to take a deep breath and really enjoy life. Our happiness now is manifested by the homes we’ve cultivated.

THAT, by the way, is return on enjoyment, because it reflects choices homeowners makes in their homes for PERSONAL enjoyment and not just ROI. I also like to call it the “do-what-I-want effect.”

The idea of ROE isn’t new, but we do have a renewed focus on it. We spend SO much time in our homes now that it makes all the sense in the world to prioritize what we want in each space instead of what will help us sell our homes later.

Kitchen and bath remodels are considered the best ROI projects for homeowners, but it’s not ALL about ROI even in those cases. You can take advantage of the value to an updated kitchen while also designing it for YOU, based on the lifestyle you want to live.

How about I show you some examples?…


Should I Worry About Resale Value?

Sure, resale value is important. But if you plan on living in your home for five years or more, whatever remodel you do now will NOT be considered “new” when you sell, and updates will probably have to be made anyway…

So…why on EARTH would you sacrifice what you want for some hollow promise of resale later?!

A bathroom remodel gives homeowners an average 54-55% return on investment according to the most recent Cost vs. Value Report by Remodel Magazine. But bathrooms are ALSO the space where you start and end every single day. It should serve YOU.

For example, a simple bathtub is considered the most “neutral” option in order to sell a home instead of, say, a jetted tub. It’s similar to the “gray wall effect” where homeowners paint ALL the walls in their home something as “neutral” as possible before a showing (and they also as many wall hangings as possible). Potential buyers need to “see” themselves in the space, and that means depersonalizing as much as possible.

A homeowner who is REALLY after that “spa feeling” in a master bathroom, however, should still favor the jetted tub, because it will bring greater ROE. That weighs FAR heavier than any ROI if it’s the bathroom you’ll be using every day for years!

Other costs that climb and can sometimes scare ROI-conscious homeowners BUT can make or break a remodel for someone after ROE include:

  • Plumbing
  • Vanities
  • Counters

Take a look at these two bathroom remodels I wrote about recently and tell me whether you think each focused more on ROI or ROE:

Bathroom Remodel Before and After: Making Room for the Best Walk-In Shower

[BEFORE/AFTER] A Bathroom Facelift with a Photographic Focal Point

Spoiler alert: these two designs each have VERY personalized elements that ABSOLUTELY favor ROE. The clients knew that their bathrooms—the “sanctuaries” where they start and end each day—had to give them every comfort. And look at the beautiful designs they finished with as a result!!

Another classic example of favoring ROE over ROI is just about ANY in-home gym. Homeowners think, “an in-home gym will save me time and money and will require a LOT less self-motivation to use!!”


home gym remodelMuch to their disappointment, these projects tend to bring a surprisingly low ROI. The “money saved” in gym membership, as it turns out, is a misnomer. What you spend in the remodel will just about never be made back in a substantial way.

Ultimately, you have to make the call whether the lifestyle improvements and potentially colossal ROE make this kind of remodel worth it for YOU. If you work out more, never have to climb into the car to go to the gym, and enjoy YEARS added to your life thanks to good health…no amount of ROI can replace that!!

Use this example as a personal exercise (pun NOT intended)…if a gym or any personalized space with traditionally-low ROI (sewing room, game room, etc.) were important enough to you, and you had the budget for it, what other than ROI would stop you from doing it?!


What If I Don’t Want Anything “Trendy?”

ROE is another way to protect you from making decisions just because something is “trending.” Even if the magazines say you should do it, and your kids say you should do it, do NOT cave to trends if you aren’t totally in love with them!

Fortunately, there are some classic design styles that you can ALWAYS fall back on…you can also combine design styles according to what you like best! There, again, you’re favoring ROE. Who cares what someone else says about what “goes” together?! The ONLY thing sacred in your home is your HAPPINESS.

Take these kitchen remodels of ours. Most kitchen remodels get between a 46 and 51% return on investment according to the Cost vs. Value Report, but the impact a remodel can have on homeowners’ lives is far greater. This is the room that can have the biggest effect on how you cook, eat, and enjoy life in general!

This kitchen, for example, favored a timeless design style that the clients walked away SO happy with…


This one, in contrast, actually combined contemporary and mid-century design styles. And it turned out absolutely stunning!

A Kitchen Remodel with the Ultimate Custom Cabinetry

Not sure what YOUR design style is? Take our interior design style quiz for instant results!!


What is your key to your Return on Enjoyment in your home?

Everyone has to strike a balance on the ROE for their homes, and I insist that we all reassess our priorities now after what we all saw in 2020…the likelihood that your priorities have shifted means you will want to view ALL future projects through that lens!

Start the conversation with us on social and tell me what your priorities are! Have they shifted in the last year? Maybe your priority changes in certain spaces in your home? Let me know!!

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