When I was in college, I spent my Spring Break working at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show (www.gardenshow.com/) During the set up for the show, I had a blast driving fork-lifts, Bobcats, and man-lifts. Each day, I watched the designers create amazing indoor gardens with flowers, trees, bushes, grasses, water features, outdoor living areas, cottages, and bridges. They were beautiful!
Then, the day before the grand opening, when all the gardens were built, I spent the evening 30 feet up in the man-lift helping the lighting designer "set the lights." He used colored gels, created focal points, and carefully created light and shadow in each garden. I was stunned by the transformation. The room went from being pretty to being magical! At that moment, I understood the importance of lighting to design.
Living in the Seattle area, there are a lot of overcast days, and dark homes are not as appealing to buyers. The first thing I do when setting up an open house, is to go through the house and turn on all of the lights. Home-buyers like houses that are light and bright, but many homeowners are unsure of how to make the most of their home's features. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Can lights, sconces, under-cabinet lighting, and updated chandeliers don't have to be expensive, but can add real value to your home.
- Place up-lights behind favorite plants or armchairs to add visual interest to a room. (You can find these for as little as five dollars at your local discount stores!)
- Look for dark areas in your home and add beautiful lamps. You can take these with you and they make your home warm and inviting.
- If you have track lighting, focus your lights on appealing art work or nice features of your house.
- Before you leave for a showing, turn on all the lights! I know you are used to turning the lights off when you leave, but leaving them on for a showing can really "set the stage" and help you make money!
- If you have a china cabinet, grandfather clock, or other furniture with built-in lighting, turn those lights on, too.
- Don't neglect the outside lighting! People will be driving by at night, and you can really increase your curb appeal by lining your flower beds or walkways with simple solar lights.
- Keep plenty of light bulbs around! Your bulbs will not last as long and you will want to have them on hand for short-notice showings.
Highlight your home's beauty with lighting and follow our blog for more tips on staging your home to sell!