THE CHALLENGE: This home was built in the 80's, and the decor was 100% original. Bubblegum pink paint reigned! The banister, foyer hardwood and kitchen cupboards were yellow-washed oak. The carpet presented in an acceptable condition with professional cleaning.
THE COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION: Upon entering, the impressive sight of an impeccably gleaming refinished hardwood floor, stained to today's in-vogue espresso color, held the eye's focus. To expand the sense of spance, paint color was tied into the color of the existing carpet. While the banister and kitchen cupboards retained original finish, they no longer unfavorably distracted attention from the selling features of this house.
THE CHALLENGE: Focus the eye on what this room was selling. Divert attention from the yellow-stained oak cupboards to an appreciation of the amazing amount of counter space this kitchen had to offer, along with a spectacular view.
THE COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION: Reduce the contrast between cupboards and color of wall, so cupboards fade into the wall rather than pop out. Keep the focus of the eye down, on counter space and view, by removing outdated window valances and items above cupboards. (TIP: unless you are selling a ceiling, refrain taking the eye upwards to decorative accents.) Use color to draw the eye along the counter and out the window to the view. Replace K, DR and Foyer light fixtures to today's standard, all from same family line of fixtures to ensure whole house flow. Replace outdated venetian blinds to today's 2" faux wood.
THE LESSON: Anticipate potential bargaining chips and make cosmetic upgrades so buyers can easily envision themselves calling this house "their" home. Remember, to plan and implement changes, it is always advisable to consult with a trained design professional experienced in home staging techniques to ensure your investment dollars are allocated wisely. It's not the amount you invest, but where you invest, that maximizes your potential equity.
Copyright 2008 Leah J. Armstrong, All Rights Reserved. "CASE STUDY: Updates which made First Impressions Count". Photos published with written permission of client.