Nest

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Natural lighting

Vision changes as you age, so the artificial lighting that worked for you when you were in your 30s or 40s may not be adequate when you enter your 50s and 60s. Lighting is an important upgrade if you plan to remain in your home into your Golden Years. Look for improvements that will help aging eyes see better, like increased natural lighting and task lighting in work areas.

Modern, energy efficient fresh air skylights are a cost-effective and beautiful way to improve a home’s natural lighting and passive ventilation. Especially effective for ventilation in kitchens and for ventilation and privacy in bathrooms, skylights like those made by Velux America can work in virtually any room—even those with no direct roof access. Have a ground-floor laundry room, closet, hallway or other area that could use more light? Sun Tunnel Tubular skylights can deliver natural light from the roof into all areas of the home and electric light kits are available for 24/7 functionality.

Energy Star-qualified, solar-powered fresh-air skylights can also improve a home’s energy efficiency and improve indoor air quality through passive ventilation. Solarpowered blinds, available in designer colors and patterns, further boost the efficiency and beauty of skylights. Plus, the skylight, blinds and installation costs are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements. Visit www.whyskylights.comto learn more.

Create a “me space”

You already have a guest bedroom, so there’s no need to leave Junior’s old room set up as a bedroom. Turn it into a space that works for you, like a home office, exercise room, music studio, craft room, workshop or home theater.

As you’re planning the improvement, keep in mind your long-term plans. If you will be selling the home at some point, consider a room that will have broader appeal, like a home office. If you plan to age in place, remember to incorporate features that will facilitate your use of the room even if you experience mobility issues down the road. For example, you may want to take the opportunity to widen doorways, replace doorknobs with door handles, replace loose carpet or slippery tiles with slip-resistant flooring, and improve natural lighting and ventilation throughout the room.