If you have a dining room, letting it serve double duty as a library is a great use of space -- plus your dining area will benefit from the style and warmth that comes with books. Susan Sully, author of “Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques” says you could also put shelves in a dining area of an eat-in kitchen, even if they only came up halfway, which would be much more budget friendly.
Bathroom remodels often don’t bring the highest returns simply because they’re expensive to begin with, but if you’re adding a second bath where you only had one before — or if you’re operating in a hot real estate market — remodeling can be a very smart move. Jan Goldman, owner of renovation and design firm Kitchen Elements, has a tip for creating space: no windows over tubs. “Who needs a window in the bath that you’ll never open?” she says. “It’s a design flaw that many builders indulge in. Typically, if you move the window somewhere else, the floor space will open up.” In this bath, that move created room for more than nine feet of prime counter space.