Not a Decorator? Neither am I!

I love everything about real estate from the new construction process to the decorating process to the closing process.  There are so many fun steps to take when building a new home.  BUT- what if your home is already built or you already live in your home and are thinking about selling or just updating your home? Where do you go to get design inspiration?  If you are like me and not a certified or professionally trained interior decorator, it can be hard to know what to select when making the necessary changes to bring your home up to date.  I am lucky to be in the real estate field because I keep up with what is popular and on trend in the home business.  I also see a lot of what needs to go!  So many people live in their homes their entire life and are still living with green shag carpet.  Seriously – well maybe that is a little bit exaggerated but I have seen it – believe me!

I remember when I first got into real estate, I would go on listing appointments and see homes with styles similar to the style my house was decorated and back then it was country – mauve and blue.  Can you believe that?  Mauve and blue!  I had Jenny Lind curtains hanging in every window with tons of wallpaper.  It was beautiful back then but thinking about it now makes me shake my head.  As I grew through my real estate career and started noticing the introduction of stainless steel appliances with granite counter tops and hardwood floors, these were like luxury items.  Not everyone had these in their home.  As years progressed and prices dropped, they became a standard feature for all new construction and more people were replacing their current appliances and floors with these upgrades.

Interior decorating trends in homes change like fashion.  What is in style this year may be out of style or classified as a standard next year.  Trends in the housing market do appear to last about 5 years.  However, they become standards and not considered upgrades after the first year of introduction.  Choosing wisely is extremely important when making any change because changes costs money.  But – make those changes.  Your home needs to stay updated.  There will come a time in your life – whether it will be a need to move up in size, death, marriage, divorce, more children, less children, etc and you will need to sell or buy a new home.  As a professional Real Estate Broker, I can tell you the best way to add more money to your bottom line always comes when the house is move in ready.  Move in ready means it has to look like a model home.  Yes – I am sorry to tell you that everyone wants a new house even if they can’t afford a new house.  Resale market is very competitive and the ones that sell first have been updated with the newest trends of the year.  Know what they are!

The trend in home decor is neutrals.  Neutrals always win.  I love color and my previous home had colored paint in every bedroom.  It was my design style, but when I put my home on the market this was a issue with the potential buyers.  They wanted neutral tones throughout the home. We had to come to an agreement on this.  Most people like neutral tones because they can accessorize the home with their own style instead of painting the room.  Paint is cheap but a huge turn off for buyers looking at homes.  They just don’t want to paint.  They want to move in and live.  The best way to know where to spend money in updating your home is to go to the new construction communities.  Tour the model homes.  Take pictures of the rooms.  These pictures will be your way of knowing what to buy when you decide to update your own personal home.  Earth tones are the best neutral choice. And if you can’t do the stainless steel appliances, my recommendation is select black appliances.  Black has a more rich look and blends with anything.  This is a better choice than white appliances every time.  Updating your appliances can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line.  You have to spend a little to get a lot.

Change out your decor.  Window treatments, bed coverings, and pillows should be fresh.  All kitchen and bath accessories should be new.  Install new light bulbs and open curtains to let the light inside.  Don’t try to hide anything.  One thing I tell my sellers is these are things you can take with you to your new home.  Watch the design style for interior decorating too.  Shabby chic is in high demand right now.  Thank you Joanna Gaines!  She has changed our life forever with the farm house style.  If this is not your style, that is fine.  Find a happy middle ground to decorate your home the way a buyer will love while still being your style.  This is important because everyone wants what is in style – sometimes whether they really like it or not.  They want to have it so adding a small touch of it can help in attracting a buyer.  They see this and think your home is up to date when all you may have done was change out a few items on the dining room table or added a while slip cover over your old couch.  Fresh flowers can also work wonders.

Also, the best thing you can do for yourself when selling your home is make sure it is CLEAN!  I cannot stress this enough.  Give your home a good scrubbing.  The bathroom and kitchen should be spotless!  Buyers can not over look dirt.  Clean the carpet.  Clean the kitchen and bathrooms!  Let’s talk about pets.  We love our pets but be sure litter boxes are clean and so are doggie doors.  Have everything put in its place.  Animal odor can be strong to people walking into your home and so can cigarette or cigar odor.  Don’t try to think we don’t smell it.  We do!

Like I said, I am not an interior decorator, but I play one in my own home.  HA!   I am really good at seeing something and going back and finding a way to recreate it in my own space.  It really is not hard, but if you really are at a loss for what to do, hire an interior decorator or even a home stager who can come in and help you accessorize items you have in your own home.  Home staging can been very cost effective.  They will even go shopping with you and make recommendations.  Think about what you are looking for when you buy your next home.  The buyer of your home is looking for the same thing.  Start now getting ready to sell even if it may be 5 years away.  It is always cheaper to do things a little a long than all at one time.  Having your home in updated ready to go status makes it all the easier in achieving your goal of getting the most for your money and selling fast.  Believe me!  I should know!  Below are photos of design ideas taken from some really great neighborhood model homes.  Be Blessed!






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