When the opportunity arises to renovate it’s incredibly exciting, but then comes the question of “Which room should I spend my hard-earned dollars on?” and “Which improvements will increase my home’s value and be money well spent?”

Last month we shared with you 5 Ways to Turn Your Tax Return Into Priceless Home Equity and this month we’re going to let you know which are the top three rooms we think you should hone in to renovate. These choices are based on not only what will add value and offer the best return on your property if you ever sell but that will also increase your own personal, day-to-day enjoyment of the place you like to call home:

1. Kitchen

Often referred to as the “heart of the home,” the kitchen is one of the big ticket rooms well worth investing in. Given this room is usually the epicenter of activity in the house, consider planning for a space that is open-plan where you can cook dine, and entertain all in one. A fresh coat of paint, floors that stand the test of time (and kids, and dogs!), new cupboards and countertops, tap fittings, an upgraded stove or other electrics are all great ways to achieve a freshen up.

2. Bathroom

Turn your bathroom from being simply functional to a sanctuary that is light, bright, and relaxing. You can spruce it up with a paint job, waterproof flooring (that looks like real wood!), or by replacing old tiles, showerheads and handles with more modern fixtures and fittings that give new, elegant life to the room. Depending on your budget, you can keep costs down by trying to use existing plumbing outlets rather than have them moved. And if replacing tiles is out of the question, look at regrouting and removing mold and any discoloration.

3. Outdoor Spaces

Improvements that add to the outdoor appeal of a home are always beneficial. An inviting all-weather, outdoor area that is also low-maintenance is a coveted addition to any home. Consider bringing the comfort of inside outdoors with renovations that could include an updated outdoor patio, deck and barbecue area, fire-pit and of course some space to keep the kids entertained! Adding usable outdoor space not only brings the outside in, it’s a smart way to increase overall floor space as an all-weather extension to the house.

Whatever you decide, plan your renovations with a broad audience in mind, rather than making them too unique to your personal tastes, have fun with the process, and enjoy the peace of mind that you’re adding priceless home equity for years to come.