The Proverbial “Doily” Must Die!!!!!

Home Stager with Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services

Ahhhhh, Doilies....the memories.

You are a blatant liar if you claim that you have never had a doily in your possession.

You are an even bigger liar if you claim that you have never seen a doily.

Grandmother's Doily - Edmonton Home Stager says "NO" to Doilies

Now, don't get me wrong right off the hop, here, okay?

You are more than entitled to possess a fondness of doilies due to the desire to memorialize a loved one, or for any reason at all. And, heck, you are also certainly welcome to have some doilies either on display in the home you are living in, or in storage for similar reasons.

Let's face it. I will even admit to personally owning a few doilies. I can even tell you exactly which box I keep them in. I have them because my Grandmother used to crochet them by hand at a furious rate, and they symbolize many great childhood memories.

BUT, we all know which generation genuinely appreciate the "beauty of doilies". This group is the one past the age of retirement.  

In the title of this post, you will note that I described the Doily as a proverbial term.

The Doily can be viewed as a blanket-term referring to Dated Decor Trends. Dated Decor Trends include the following, but are not at all limited to; Doilies, Dusty Rose Painted Walls, Wall-paper borders, Pink and Teal Silk Flower Arrangements in Pastel-hued Vases, Dark-coloured wall-to-wall carpets, Velour 1980's furniture with crazy patterns, Paint-by-Number artwork, etc. *Side-note: A Professional Home Stager can provide a vast number of inexpensive and easy solutions to these issues.*

Edmonton Home Staging Example of Bad Decor

Let's get down to business. You have decided to list your home for sale. Dated decor is perfectly acceptable if you are planning to keep on living in your property. But, when you decide to list it, you now have to shift your thinking. It is imperative that your decor speaks to, or appeals to, the masses, and especially your specific target markets.

Note that when I talk about target markets, I have pluralized the term. There is good reason for this. Everyone speaks of "A Target Market" for every property on the market. But, in fact, if we really think about it, there are usually at least two target markets for every property.

Take a 1 or 2-Bedroom condo in the downtown core of Edmonton, AB. Many people would automatically say that our target market for this property would be a young professional couple or a single professional. That is a correct assumption. But, it could also be students, or even a newly retired couple or an individual simply looking to downsize from a detached bungalow.

Now that we have laid out the target markets for a single property, we have identified a much wider demographic that we need to appeal to.

One more example is a 1962, 1100 sq. Ft. bungalow in the Hardisty neighbourhood of Edmonton, AB. This is a mature and established area of Edmonton where many long-term home-owners reside. In many cases, the current owners are up there in years and have raised their families in these properties. These people own many doilies. They are now looking to downsize in order to ease stress of maintenance. These typical homes in this area tend to list and sell for somewhere around the low $300's. Who do we think will be interested in these homes?

Here, there is definitely more than one answer. Many of the potential buyers will be young and growing families. Perhaps they are first-time home-buyers. They could also be an aging couple downsizing and moving in to the City from an outlying area or acreages. They would be drawn to a mature neighbourhood in the City for the mature trees and a solid sense of community, yet they would still benefit from the conveniences of the City. Here, again, you can see that we need to target our marketing (product presentation) to a wide demographic.

And, believe it or not, Decor does matter. The property can be in great repair, well maintained, and clean. But, if our Decor is not appealing to the masses, we have now successfully distracted buyers from the product they are there to look at.

Buyers make their Home-Purchase-Decisions with emotions and visualization. The main point to remember is that Buyers need to quickly, and effortlessly envision their own belongings within this new "home". Can they envision moving right in? If not, and if you have not appealed to their senses, this will be a lost sale.

I actually had a client tell me that she viewed two very similar condos in the same building. They had both been renovated and painted with nice neutral colours. The lower priced one of the two was filled with doilies, plate collections, and Victorian-Parlour furniture. That one had been sitting on the market for months longer than the second, higher priced one. So, even though she knew in her mind that the lower-priced one would be less of a burden financially, she told me that she just couldn't get past the decor. It was not cluttered, just distracting.

So, what did she do? She made an offer on the second one with the more updated decor. She told me it was much easier picturing herself living in that one. That lower priced suite is still on the market as we speak. There is nothing structurally wrong with the suite, but the decor is not appealing to anyone within the target market.

Let a lesson be learned here. I hear this all the time from my clients. It is not a new concept at all.

If you are planning on listing your home for sale, pack the darned doilies away. The up-side here is that you now have a head-start on packing, and you can reward yourself by putting them back on display in your new "home". You will also be able to move on to the next chapter in your life faster and more financially prepared.

Beautiful Doilies, we bid you a fond farewell!!!

Posted by

Rhonda Wilson - CCSPTM
Owner/Operator of
Revealing Assets
Home Staging and Decluttering Services
We transform properties into highly
sought-after products that sell in half
the time and for 7-10% more money.
Through personal experience, extensive
research and training, and a compassionate
approach, we De-clutter living/work spaces for
up-lifting and positive life changes.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Comments (7)

Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

Rhonda, indeed the decor must be appealing.  Even when showing active-adult communities, the over 55's don't like the dated decor they see in the resale market.  I like your before-after side photos. 

Sep 22, 2010 08:58 AM
Rhonda Wilson
Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services - Edmonton, AB

Linda, thank you for your comment.

This is true!! The age-group that are "just fine" with the dated decor is the 75-80+ group. This age group makes up a very small portion of the market, if any.

Thank you for your compliment on my photos. I do, however, need to invest in a much wider-angle camera. Grrrrrrr.

Have a wonderful day!

Sep 22, 2010 09:15 AM
Janice Ankrett
Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Well said Rhonda. It's funny, I have been seeing more of doilies lately. They are usually in homes of sellers of younger south Asian descent. I always ask them to remove them for a wider appeal ;).

Sep 24, 2010 03:43 AM
Rhonda Wilson
Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services - Edmonton, AB

Janice, yes, doilies have a funny way of showing up where you least expect them!! LOL.

Well said!

Wider appeal is the ultimate goal!!

Sep 24, 2010 08:25 AM
Peg Barcelo
Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369 - Summerland, BC
The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC

I love your comments Rhonda!

I can completely relate to the wall paper borders! One of the houses I was in recently had a different wall paper border in Every room, even the hallway! The bathroom had a storage unit behind the toilet and when I moved it I discovered the homeowners had not removed this storage unit to apply this particular border, nor had they used a tape measure to ensure it was the same height coming out the other side!

Jan 31, 2011 10:21 AM
Rhonda Wilson
Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services - Edmonton, AB

Oooooh, Peg, wall-paper borders EVERYWHERE!! Yikes! How did you handle that? Did you have them strip them all off? 

Thank you for stopping by!

Jan 31, 2011 11:32 AM
Peg Barcelo
Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369 - Summerland, BC
The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC

Yup, they all had to go! I mean the hallway seemed like a runway! And the kids room was APPLE green (which changed your complexion when you walked in) with a disney stick-on border which left residue and wax crayon accents on the rest of the walls. BINZ primer was my best friend that day!

Jan 31, 2011 06:13 PM