Pamela Hope Designs is proud to call Houston, Texas home. We locals know Houston is a cultural hub booming with activities, art, and beauty. But it looks like the secret is out, as Houston was deemed one of the fastest-growing US cities in 2023. As Houston grows, so do the real estate investment opportunities — for developers and homeowners alike. 

Houston Interior Designer

Whether you’re looking to sell now or in 10 years, the design decisions you make will have a considerable impact on your Houston home’s value. A few strategic decisions can make all the difference. So, what are the best design upgrades to increase your property value here in Houston? Let’s take a look at a few design ideas that are good for your investment portfolio (and lifestyle). 

1. Modernize the Kitchen

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and we completely agree. Modernizing and upgrading this space will almost always result in substantial returns. Improving your kitchen improves your quality of life. In our minds, this one is a no-brainer. In Houston, where open-concept living is popular, a well-designed kitchen can be a major selling point. Invest in high-quality and durable countertops made of granite, quartz, or marble to add a touch of luxury to your high-traffic space. 

Our team has recently been installing more and more smart appliances in our clients’ homes because they are energy-efficient. This helps save on utility bills while also appealing to tech-savvy buyers. (And how fun is it to start preheating your oven remotely on your way home from work?) 

Update old cabinets with new ones or reface them with modern cabinetry. There’s nothing worse than walking into a kitchen with dated, light-pink cabinets from the 90s! Features like soft-close doors and pull-out shelves immediately enhance functionality and aesthetics. 

Houston Interior Designer - Pamela Hope Designs

An often overlooked but highly impactful kitchen upgrade tip is to invest in good lighting within your kitchen space. Good lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting and pendant lights over islands, can make a kitchen look larger and more inviting.

Not all of these things need to be done to enhance your kitchen, but if you implement a few of these upgrades over the years, you’ll likely see a higher return on investment when you’re ready to sell.

2. Upgrade Those Bathrooms

Bathrooms are another critical area where design upgrades can significantly increase property value. Houston’s humid (and hot!) climate makes features like good ventilation and mold-resistant materials particularly appealing. Replacing old bathtubs with walk-in showers featuring glass doors and modern stone tile creates a fresh and timeless look. These upgrades will also make your bathrooms much easier to clean. 

There are many smaller upgrades that can be made in a bathroom as well. Upgrading to high-end fixtures such as rainfall showerheads, dual vanities, and heated floors adds a touch of luxury. Using high-quality tiles for the floor and walls adds an immediate sense of elegance. Installing mirrors with built-in lighting and anti-fog features adds extra attention to detail within the home, making it more appealing to future buyers.

One of our favorite ways to elevate a bathroom, specifically a main-floor bathroom, is by playing with color and patterns. Try switching things up with a bold paint color or a fun wallpaper. We love to make a statement with a good bathroom design.

Mid-Century Modern Home - Punch of Color

3. Enhance Your Curb Appeal

First impressions matter! Curb appeal is the first thing that your potential buyers notice. Enhancing the exterior of your home can significantly boost its market value. Start with creating a welcoming front stoop by replacing your front door, or investing in a beautiful front yard garden to bring that “wow” factor to your home. 

Upgrade Your Curb Appeal - Houston, TX

Applying a fresh coat of exterior paint in neutral, appealing colors can make an old house look new again. We recommend using a neutral color for the majority of the home and accenting the doors, window trims, or shutters with a brighter color for a nice visual pop. Get creative with shutters! With the rise in demand for the Southern Colonial home design, we can’t get enough of those big, beautiful shutters.

Explore professional landscaping options to create greenery and depth to your yard. Who doesn’t love a good garden? We recommend implementing native plants that thrive in our Houston climate to create a lush garden that remains as low-maintenance as possible. Exotic plants may look beautiful, but in more cases than not, they’re not worth the headache! Also, try installing a pathway and landscape lighting. This will not only improve safety but will also highlight your home’s best features at night. 

4. Identify Energy Efficiency Improvements

Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important to homebuyers. Upgrades that reduce energy consumption can increase property value while saving money on utility bills. Not only will these energy upgrades bring you financial benefits in the short term, but they will position your home extremely well in the market whenever you are ready to sell.

Improving attic and wall insulation during larger remodels can help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. You can also replace old windows with double-pane or energy-efficient windows to reduce noise and energy costs. 

In Houston’s sunny climate, installing solar panels is a feasible and well-researched option for reducing energy bills. We also recommend installing modern, energy-efficient HVAC and tankless water heaters to really make the most out of your efficiency upgrades. 

Display Office

5. Create an Open Floor Plan

Open floor plans are highly desirable, especially in Houston, where family gatherings and social events are common. At our interior design firm, we are receiving requests for open floor plans more and more frequently, and we understand why. 

Home buyers are now seeking out homes with open floor plans more than ever before, and we don’t see this trend dying out anytime soon. Creating a more open and connected living space can significantly increase the appeal and value of your home. If structurally feasible, you can remove non-load-bearing walls to create a more open space. Using the same flooring material throughout the home will create a seamless look to further blend it all together.

Create an Open Floor Plan - Houston Texas

An abundance of natural light is what really takes an open floor plan to the next level. Installing large windows or sliding glass doors can enhance natural light and create a connection with outdoor spaces. You can even expand upon your open floor plan by bringing your entertaining space into your outdoor areas. We all love a nice backyard party in the summer here in Houston!

6. Smart Home Technology

The integration of smart home technology is a growing trend in not only Houston’s real estate market but nationwide. These upgrades are a surefire way to make your home more attractive to potential buyers and increase its value. 

Install smart security systems, including cameras and doorbell cameras, to add an extra layer of safety to your home. Smart thermostats and lights, which can be controlled remotely, will help you save on energy costs, along with your other energy-efficient upgrades. 

Level up your home entertainment by installing smart speakers and home automation systems to control various aspects of the home. If you’re installing smart speakers, just make sure that you have some good playlists ready to go! In today’s world, everything revolves around the instant gratification and convenience that technology provides. Don’t miss out on these opportunities to upgrade not only your home but also the quality of your day-to-day lifestyle.

7. Outdoor Living Spaces

Our climate here in Houston allows for (nearly) year-round outdoor living. Boost your property value and appeal by enhancing your outdoor spaces.

Custom Kingwood Home 77346 Outdoor Dining Area

Build or upgrade a deck or patio with durable, weather-resistant materials to create a desirable and functional outdoor living area. Provide shade with pergolas or other structures to make outdoor spaces more comfortable during hot summer days. A built-in fire pit can extend outdoor living into cooler months and create a cozy gathering spot. 

Installing an outdoor kitchen with a grill, sink, and counter space allows you to bring the party outside on the long and nice evenings that we get to enjoy here in Houston. Host your next football watch party and fire up the grill with your friends in your newly upgraded backyard.

Have you ever thought of installing a pizza oven? This rare yet extremely useful commodity provides another level of hosting and can be a unique selling point whenever you are ready to list your home on the market. 

8. Freshen Up Your Interior Paint

A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to upgrade your home, and sometimes this change makes a huge difference. 

Changing the color of your interior paint can change the entire look and feel of your home. Not only does it freshen up the space by making it look newer and cleaner, but even the slightest color tweak can alter the space’s personality. 

Neutral colors are generally the best choice when selecting paint colors, as they appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. In some cases, though, we don’t shy away from adding a pop of color to our clients’ homes — especially as people continue to embrace and seek out character-rich design. 

Whimsical Townhome 77006 -- Living room angled view

Keep in mind that paint colors change as the light in your home changes throughout the day. We always recommend testing your potential paint colors at all hours of the day to see how the lighting looks at all times. 

9. Flooring Upgrades

Upgrading your flooring can make a serious and significant difference in the overall look and feel of your home. Flooring upgrades can be a large and inconvenient undertaking, but they’re worth it in the long run.

Hardwood floors are particularly desirable in Houston, which is great because hardwood floors will never go out of style. A major way to upgrade your home is by replacing old carpeting with hardwood or engineered wood floors. This adds durability and elegance that will last for years to come. Consider high-quality tile for added durability in high-moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms. 

Increase the Value and Immediately Benefit

Design upgrades, both big and small, are a powerful tool for increasing the value of your property in Houston, Texas. From modernizing kitchens and bathrooms to enhancing curb appeal and energy efficiency, there are numerous ways to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. By investing in these upgrades, you can not only enjoy a more comfortable and stylish living space but also ensure a higher return on investment when it comes time to sell. Remember, the key to successful upgrades is to focus on quality, functionality, and appeal to a broad range of buyers. 

Don’t let the opportunity of our booming Houston real estate market pass you by. If you need some inspiration, give us a call, and we’ll help you find it.

Owner of Pamela Hope Designs, Pamela O'Brien, smiling in blue dress


Pamela O’Brien is the founder of Pamela Hope Designs in Houston, Texas. Pamela is an award-winning luxury interior designer, writer, and speaker. Prior to founding Pamela Hope Designs, Pamela served as a spokesperson in media and public affairs, working with media outlets like Dateline NBC and 48 Hours. This experience allowed her to travel the world and furthered her love for travel, culture, and interior design. After going back to school to pursue interior design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Pamela launched her own interior design firm. Pamela is known for building strong relationships with her clients, who later become friends and collaborators. She is highly influential in the Houston interior design space and shows no signs of slowing down.

Meet the Rest of Our Houston Interior Design Team

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This