With Pattern, Bold is Not Always Beautiful When You Are Selling Your Home!

By
Home Stager with Arranged Smartly LLC

 

When I looked up “neutralize” in the dictionary, I found “counterbalance.” What a great concept!  It suggests that neutralizing is just resetting the scale, balancing the weight between what the seller has and what the buyer wants.

Balancing that weight goes beyond choosing beige or cream paint for walls, it also applies to pattern. Pattern is distracting to potential home buyers and can keep them from seeing the best features of a house. It’s a very personal choice. A bright plaid sofa and loveseat, an entire room in leopard print or the cottage rose window treatments may be favorites of the seller, but may not be so well received by a potential buyer.

It also makes those tiny photos that get posted online look very busy. 
DR before



DR after






















Where will you find pattern? 
  • Most people think of fabric first: the upholstery on a sofa, fabric hanging at windows and the comforter on the bed.
  • It can be paper or paint treatments on walls. 
  • Don’t forget the area or scatter rugs on the floor.
  • Hard surfaces may also have pattern: a tile backsplash or vinyl floor.
  • Sometimes texture can add to the visual noise: wood paneling, stone countertop, heavily grained wood cabinets or a brick wall.
What to do? 
  • Slipcovers can work wonders for upholstered furniture. Or choose solid-color pillows and a throw to help mute the pattern. 
  • If new window treatments aren’t in the budget, sometimes just removing them is better than a taste-specific pattern. 
  • Before buying new bedding, check the back of the comforter or bedspread. It may be a solid color that offers a more serene experience for the potential home buyer. 
  • Walls with pattern may be better off painted a neutral color.
  • Paint the paneling or brick, if it needs to be toned down. In most cases it will also brighten and freshen the space and make it feel larger.

Brkfst Rm before

Brkfst Rm After






















Sellers don’t have to remove every pattern, just enough to balance the room. Small doses are interesting as long as they are not dated styles. Not sure if there’s still too much? Take a digital photo and look at it on the computer screen, the same way a potential buyer will.

Be honest. Is the room calm and welcoming? Is your eye drawn to the special features of the house? Or is it distracting and busy? Still not sure? Call in a professional home stager, who can help sort out issues and offer solutions that fit the seller’s budget. A “counterbalanced” property has much better odds of selling quickly!

 

 

 

 

Cathy Brosius is the owner of Arranged Smartly, a home staging and organizing company.  Cathy and her team are working smartly for homeowners and real estate agents throughout the St. Louis region.  She has also been interviewed on KMOV's Great Day St. Louis, providing tips on staging a home for sale.

 

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Rainer
14,761
Wendy Carroll
Coeur d'Alene, ID

You're so right about busy rooms looking even busier in small photos.

Nice job!

Jun 24, 2009 02:53 PM #3
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

Thanks Ginger and Kate!

On the dining room, the homeowner even had a floral tablecloth on the table. I only wish I had gotten the before photo with that in place!

Jun 24, 2009 02:55 PM #4
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

And the photos are so important, Wendy! We actually took some crystals off that chandelier to tone it down a bit. It looked like it belonged to Liberace! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Jun 24, 2009 03:29 PM #5
Rainer
18,518
Peg Prather
Vancouver, WA
Vancouver, WA

Cathy; With as many Before and After photos as I've seen on A/R, I still had to look 3 times before I realized the second set of pictures were of the same room! Good heavens, you really, really toned down the pattern (visual noise) with the white paint! People are going to love both of these rooms now!

Jun 24, 2009 05:36 PM #6
Rainmaker
271,023
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA

Huge improvement. Very nice work and staged to sell now! 

Jun 24, 2009 06:18 PM #7
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

What a nice complement Peg! It's probably because my before photo could have been better. The home with the little breakfast room was on the market for over 6 months in 2008 so they took it off. I gave the owners a list of tasks to complete and they did almost everything. I'm convinced the kitchen is what was holding up the sale. They also put in new dark gray laminate countertops and chrome handles--the kitchen area looked almost new. They had a contract in 40 days and were very pleased with the staging.

Jun 24, 2009 11:50 PM #8
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

Cathy, thanks, and also for taking the time to leave a comment!

Jun 25, 2009 01:49 AM #9
Rainmaker
639,427
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

Oh heavens no!  Those first photos were no appealing at all, after's are much better on the eyes!

Jun 25, 2009 04:53 PM #10
Rainmaker
172,914
Cynthia Bartch
Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio - Granville, OH
Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal

Hi Cathy, love the afters, feels like a breath of fresh air! Well done.

Jun 26, 2009 03:01 AM #11
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

Thanks Cindy an Cynthia! I appreciate the input. It's nice to have so much support!

Jun 26, 2009 06:19 AM #12
Rainmaker
107,076
Liz Gallagher
LG Home Harmony - Home Stagers & Organizers - Montreal, QC
Montreal Quebec RESA member

Yikes and WOW!  You did a beautiful job. Seeing past that wallpaper would have been a challenge for any buyer ... nice job neutralizing it. They actually own a very nice dinning set but it was hardly noticeable with that wallpaper and carpet.

Looks beautiful now.

Jun 26, 2009 09:21 AM #13
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

I agree, Liz, that seeing past the wallpaper in that dining room was a challenge. I think it was even bolder in person. That is probably my favorite before and after set of photos because it really illustrates what staging is all about. Thanks for the comment!

Jun 26, 2009 12:22 PM #14
Rainmaker
913,966
Ann Hayden
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO
SelectAnn.com

Cathy,

Very nice...  wallpaper drives most people crazy!

Ann

Jun 26, 2009 01:53 PM #15
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

Ann, it does, doesn't it? No one wants to remove it, so do the work for them. It's just so darn personal, too.

Jun 26, 2009 02:30 PM #16
Rainer
140,489
c m
Colorado Springs, CO

I was just thinking of posting something about homeowners taking photos of their own rooms and trying to be objective about what they see.  You are so right, it makes a huge difference! GREAT transformations in these rooms!

Jun 26, 2009 06:15 PM #17
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

I think that would be a great post! I think it really helps sellers become more objective--they're a little removed from the room that way. Thanks, Cheryl, for your nice comments!

Jun 27, 2009 04:20 AM #18
Rainmaker
160,356
Ana Hitzel
AccentPositives Home Staging - Corona, CA
Professional Home Stager Inland Empire

What you changed looks really great Cathy, too much is always too BAD! 

Aug 02, 2009 02:49 PM #19
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

You're right Ana. Too much of anything is bad when you're staging!

Aug 03, 2009 03:34 AM #20
Rainer
17,302
Robin North
Dramatic Spaces Home Staging and Design - Cambridge, ON

It is amazing what a transformation can occur with some simple changes.  It is so important to consider all the elements that could distract a buyer when viewing a home, ten aking the necessary changes.  It amkes all the difference.

Aug 07, 2009 04:10 AM #21
Rainer
43,337
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

Robin, "distract" is the right word! I think minimizing pattern and just general busy-ness makes a huge difference in the photos that get posted. We have to get buyers to the house first!

Aug 07, 2009 06:45 AM #22
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