I'm Dreaming of a Home Improvement for the Holidays!

by Matt Goering

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If you haven't dropped your letter to Santa in the mail yet, it's time to grab a pen and a pad of paper and get to it. No holding back, either. Anybody who says that Santa can't fit a solid slab granite countertop into your stocking clearly hasn't spent enough time at the North Pole. Here's our list of the 6 dreamiest holiday home improvements found in Santa's Workshop, along with some ideas for how you can pull out all the stops.

  • Kitchen Remodel—As the heart of the American home, few remodels make more sense than a new kitchen. Even better, there isn't another room in your house more packed with possibility. Custom cabinetry blends innovative storage solutions and cabinetry design with hand crafted beauty, solid slab granite countertops are guaranteed to stop dinner guests in their tracks, and cutting edge appliances make using a new kitchen a delightful experience. Throw in new flooring, paint, lighting, and that kitchen island you've always dreamed of, and this is one home remodel that's tough to top.

  • Backyard Spa—What do you think Santa does after squeezing his robust frame down billions of narrow chimneys in a single night? Our bet: he strips off the suit and hops in the tub with Mrs. Clause for a long, relaxing soak. If that sounds appealing to you (the hot tub itself, not tubbing with the Clauses), then maybe it's time to install a spa of your very own. Backyard spas come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from cozy two person models to tubs big enough to hold an entire pool party. And if you're looking for luxury, there are models out there that incorporate magnetic therapy, massage therapy, flat screen televisions, drink holders, wet bars, and even built-in coolers and grills, all for your hot tubbing pleasure!

  • Bathroom Remodel—Why let practicality dictate the design for one of the most often used rooms in your home? Sure, new fixtures, flooring tile, and a good paint job are key to a successful bathroom remodel, but why not consider granite countertops, a solid glass sink, a heated towel warmer, and a luxury shower spa or Jacuzzi tub, to boot? Truth of the matter is that bathroom design is one of the most cutting edge, and exciting, segments of the home improvement industry. You owe it to yourself to take full advantage of what the world of bathroom design has to offer.
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  • Fireplace—No talk of Santa would be complete without mentioning fireplaces. Vented natural gas fireplace inserts are energy efficient, warm, cozy, and can be installed just about anywhere in your home, whether there's a chimney for Santa to squeeze down or not. And if you're a stickler for tradition, and the sounds, smells, and warmth of a real wood burning fireplace, there's no sense in letting a little technology keep you from your dreams. From custom stone hearths, to traditional hardwood mantelpieces, there are plenty of contractors out there who specialize in wood burning fireplace installations as well.

  • Home Theater—It's safe to say that the age of the home theater has arrived. All you need is a flat screen plasma TV on the wall, surround sound speakers hidden around the room, and a quality receiver to serve as the control center, and presto: you've got a movie theater quality viewing experience smack dab in the middle of your own home. And if you're a tried and true, hard core movie fan, move the entire operation down into the basement where you can install movie theater style seating and an industrial theater style popcorn popper as well.

  • Master Bedroom Suite—Since we're talking dream remodels, it seems irresponsible to leave out the Master bedroom suite. After all, imagine what a walk-in closet, dressing area, and master bath (with Jacuzzi tub, of course), would do for your sleeping area? Now throw in a few creature comforts, like a skylight for watching the moon and the stars pass over, and a fireplace insert in the corner for romantic nights when the kids are at Grandma's, and even Santa might climb under the covers with you after he finishes his milk and cookies.

If Your Wish List is Still Incomplete
Finally, don't feel bad if you're still searching for the perfect holiday gift for yourself. After all, when you were a kid, you didn't knock out those lists to Santa without the help of the JC Penney Holiday catalog, did you? The same game applies now that you're older and wiser, even if the scope of the stocking stuffers have changed! By browsing the web, picking up home improvement and home design magazines, and touring home shows, you're sure to encounter so many home improvement ideas that even Santa won't be able to fit them all in his sack! HO, HO, HO! Happy Home Improvement!

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.