Low Cost Decorating Ideas that Say Luxury to Homebuyers

Forget shabby-chic and white-on-white. Homebuyers want warm understated elegance in homes they would consider their own. Going through hundreds of homes a month as a broker, I see first hand the body language and hear the comments from today’s homebuyers on what reels them in or turns them off. One of the most interesting examples on how decorating and reformulating a home came early this spring market when a two-story center entry colonial became available.

The home was filled with late 1990’s colors and way too much furniture, artwork and bric-a-brac.The property lingered for a couple of weeks and the buyer feedback was that they couldn’ t see through all the stuff in the house to get an idea of what the homes “bones” were. Plus the deep jewel-tone paint job was dark and over-bearing. So, we did a low-budget overall using some of my basic design principles. The home went to contract soon after the edit and update was completed. Here are some good basic decorating tips from Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home.

-Don’t forget first impressions. The entry hall is where you set the tone for the entire home. Keep it simple and spare as this is where buyers and their agents congregate. Have a console table (for listing materials) with a mirror over and one side chair for guests to sit down and put booties or shoes on, or to park purses and coats. Eliminate family photos and throw rugs, less is more.

-Rooms need design basics for functional elegance. Group accessories together. Don’t spread like-kind decorative objects around a room. Place collections together to give them more visual power. If you have a chair it needs a table next to it and a lamp, so it is a cozy reading station. Artwork should be streamlined and focused for impact. Hang artwork close together instead of scattering around a room. Keep the range of colors in a room tight. Too many colors is distracting and not inviting, you want buyers to linger.

-Getting a home update organized. Take room and furniture measurements first and record on graph paper. Move furniture around on paper (saves your back) until your happy with the look, edit pieces that don’t work. Look at the room and furniture, do you need new paint colors, slipcovers or accent pillows, all a quick way to add visual punch and unify a space design-wise.. Minimize window treatments to draw attention back into the room and let the sun shine in.

-Simple furniture rearrangement can bring new life to a tired space. Float sofas and coffee tables away from walls for a designer look. Use area rugs to anchor furniture groupings on bare tile and wood floors. Place groupings of candles and clear glass bowls filled with natural potpourri, fresh fruit or glass crystals on side and coffee tables.

-Discover ways to organize day-to-day room needs. Substantial wicker baskets or square stainless steel or brass can organize magazines, remote controls and toys. Books provide a good look, but vary them by laying some down and standing some up.

-Fresh flowers and green plants complete any space. Don’t get too fussy with flowers and plants, their basic beauty should be featured in plain containers without ribbon. Natural stones or bark covering the soil gives them a finished look. No silk flowers, period.

-Homes should look comfortable. Comfort is the ultimate luxury and buyers love it and want to stay. So if you’re trying to make a decision, let comfort rule. Comfort is feeling like you can sit down on the sofa, floor or window seat and feel at home in your Sunday best or Friday night pajamas.

-Lighting can make or break a room. Too bright and it looks like a movie set and too little like a creepy bar. Use a variety of table, floor and built-in lighting, use appropriate wattage bulbs. My rule of thumb is that as the sun rises the lighting should rise and as it falls so should it.

-Wallpaper is considered fill-in-the-blank decorating. No two people have the same taste in this instant decorator wannabe. If it’s more than three years old, take it down and paint in a neutral color. And wallpaper boarders are out.

-Clean is comfortable and elegant. Buff hardwood floors, clean tile, polish cabinets and don’t forget the windows. Cleanness is the foundation for a beautiful room and can overcome a room with problems. Cartagena Vip Bachelor Party

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