We spent the better part of 2020 holed up at home, and none of us saw that coming. As such, many of us had sudden realizations that our spaces lacked a lot of things. Kitchens were missing some appliances, rooms were missing a work desk, and there’s barely any quiet space where we could work out or relax, other than the bedrooms.

A lot of people also discovered that their abodes were deteriorating. If we hadn’t been forced to stay at home, maybe only a few us invested in home improvement. While the pandemic had been — and still is — a negative experience for us all, it prompted us to rethink our spaces and the way we live. From now on, we’re more health-conscious and observant of our homes.

Before we reach the second half of 2021, let’s bring the best out of our dwellings and invest in these home improvement items and projects:

1. Remove Radon

Radon is an indoor air pollutant that’s so dangerous it’s dubbed “the silent killer”. A radioactive gas, radon moves through spaces in the soil and can access your house through any opening. So inspect your home for cracks in the foundation and the concrete slabs. The longer you leave those accent points uncovered, the deadlier radon becomes.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), any home can have a radon problem, including newly-built and well-sealed ones. Radon-resistant construction features will help prevent that problem, so if you’re moving into a brand-new abode, ask the seller if they used such construction features. If not, get the home tested for radon or buy a test kit from any home improvement store.

If the problem is detected, or you just want to ensure your safety regardless if it’s there or not, enlist a radon mitigation contractor. They’ll install a mitigation system that will keep the radon at harmless levels, for a fair price of more or less than $2,000.

2. Landscape Makeover

An overgrown garden can ruin your al fresco dining or outdoor relaxation sessions. If the space is located at the front of your house, it would decrease your curb appeal, too.

A landscape makeover doesn’t have to take a lot of work and money. Start by mowing the grass, then fill the bare soil with low-maintenance plants. Buy the ones in pots instead of just the seeds, since it can be tricky to grow a plant straight from the soil right away. Once your green thumb gets the hang of gardening, buy some colorful flowering shrubs and bee-friendly blooms. A touch of wildlife will make your landscape more alive.

3. Kitchen Remodel

The search for kitchen extensions jumped to 43% in May last year. Indeed, many of us cooked or baked away our boredom at the beginning of the lockdown. That’s when we realized that we needed a lot of new appliances, like stand mixers and ovens.

If you see yourself still spending more time in the kitchen this year, invest in new, more durable countertops, or check out DIY projects if the budget is tight. Consider repainting the cabinetry if they’re looking a bit dated. Refreshing those and changing their hardware can make a lot of difference in your kitchen.

6. Standing Desk

Since not all homes have an extra room for an office, a standing desk would come in handy. It’s basically a foldable table where you can set up a desktop computer or a laptop. And of course, it’s portable, so you can take it with you anywhere in the house. It gives you the choice to move into a quieter spot when your usual work area gets a little too noisy.

7. Fitness Equipment

treadmill

The gym is one of the riskiest places to be in during the pandemic. The situation may be improving now because of the vaccines, but it’s not a reason to let our guard down yet. To stay updated in your fitness program, invest in gym equipment at home, such as dumbbells, a stationary bike, and of course, an exercise mat. Considering that exercising at home is more cost-efficient than a gym membership, you’ll earn back the money you spent on equipment fast.

8. Massage Chair

After working out, sitting all day because of work, and completing all your chores, you deserve a full-body massage to relieve your tense muscles. Treat yourself with the ultimate luxurious gift, a high-quality massage chair from Luraco or any other brand. A massage chair has different settings and a body-molding frame, which automatically adjusts to fit the contours of your body. Though it can massage your whole body, it benefits your head and neck the most, since those are the parts that tend to get a lot of strain.

With these projects and items in your 2021 home improvement goals, staying at home can be exciting for the second time around. While none of us wants to have the stay-at-home orders extended, we better be ready for it anyway.