As a homeowner, your list of updates is long and sometimes it's hard to prioritize which one to tackle next.
It could be a list that could look something like this:
1. Painting, this of course creates the biggest bang for the buck!
2. Flooring (it's the one that's the easiest to change--well relatively--for the second biggest impact)
3. Kitchen or bathrooms--countertops, flooring, cabinets, plumbing fixtures
4. Fireplace mantle/tile/stone
5. Additions, balconies, sunrooms, etc.
1. Can it be painted? Backsplash tile, cabinets, even countertops can be painted to get you through until the renovation really needs to be done.
2. Is my living/great room decorated?
One of the participants from my True Colour Expert Training said one of the many things she came away with in my course these last 3 days was to take one room and finish it (the great room or living room--the one you spend the most time in and your guests see) instead of spreading your money around to a bunch of rooms/areas in your house and not getting anything finished.
When you do that, you still can't walk into any room in your house with any kind of satisfaction and enjoyment because there's always something else you're looking at that you know needs tweaking or updating.
I know I sound biased because I am a decorator but unless your new kitchen is going to completely transform your great room, I would not spend my money there until I had spent some money (first) on creating atmosphere in the main areas of my house. And how do you achieve that? With new furniture, lighting and accessories--that's how.
The rental I'm in now has peach kitchen cabinets that I will eventually paint (instead of a weekend away I would rather buy paint and love my space then worry about the money I'm spending on a rental plus this is what I do, I cannot live with apartment beige) however that is last on my list because my living/dining/entry is my first priority. There's only so much you can do to a kitchen or bathroom to create atmosphere--these spaces have have very little opportunities for creating softness and colour with fabrics and lighting.
I know I've said this before but I'm saying it again here. Before you start installing crown molding or replacing the doors and closets in your entire house, hire a designer to help you or at the very least a consultation to get you started in the right direction in terms of furniture colour, style, space planning so that you can create your very own slice of heaven and get happy every time you walk into your home!