Building a house is what we do well. But there’s more to a good house than a winning floorplan.
I’ve seen some houses with horrible layouts sell extremely well, and all because of how the interior was decorated.
In fact, I employed this once when I owned a super cheap 700 sq ft apartment condo conversion. While everyone else was trying unsuccessfully to sell their condos for $40,000, I decorated mine to look as photogenic and targeted as possible.
The result was that while nobody could sell their ugly condos at $40k, I got immediate offers on mine for around $55,000.
The moral of this story, is that looks do matter, and today, I want to go over a few key principals that will help even the most clueless decorator get off on the right foot.
Decorating to Sell or Decorating to Move In
Know the basics
Maybe you want your home to show well for potential buyer, or maybe you want your next home to really feel like you. Either way, there are reasons for decorating well.
Over the years, I’ve learned that most people think they’re fine without hiring a decorator. In many cases they are. However, in several cases, they just have no idea that they don’t have a clue.
But not all of us want to spend money on someone who’ll design our living space for us, especially if they get it wrong.
So for the do-it-yourselfers, here’s a simple tip on making your space look better.
Trends come and go, but personality is consistent
What do I mean by this? Well, do you remember when everyone needed to have a fake porcelain chicken somewhere in their house? That was a trend.
Are you noticing how many houses lately have been painting their brick? Yes, another trend.
Trends change every few years, and it can be incredibly hard to keep up with them, considering the costs involved with house finishes and furniture updates. So rather than focus on what’s trendy, focus on your personality.
Personality guru’s often claim that there are about 4 main personality styles. There are the bold go-getters, the gentle peace-makers, the party nuts, and the extremely analyticals. Take a look around you sometime, and you’ll notice that many people tend to fall into some of these categories.
Each of these personality traits comes with a certain preference for color. Often the bold go-getters like the darker colors, like blacks and browns. Decorating for this sort will often include deep rich colors, like you might find in an old gentlemen’s club.
For the gentle peace-makers, light and airy would make them feel more comfortable. They look for harmony and bright happy feeling places.
For the party animals, get your color on. They’re happy with a lot of different colors and trends, and they’re more forgiving of clutter. Not that you should have a cluttered feel, but functionality isn’t as important as making their place feel cool.
For your analytical friends, they tend to prefer functionality over coolness. They still like their house to look good, but they’ll be more likely to tell you that your picture is crooked, than to tell you which picture to hang.
So which is right?
If you’re decorating to sell, consider this, the people who’re most likely to buy quickly are the bold go-getters and the party animals. They tend to make decisions quickly. So decorating with dark or fun colors, and showing the creative coolness of your space is important.
Gentle peace-makers and analytical sorts are a little slower at making snap decisions, with the analytical being just a bit quicker. The analytical people will want to understand everything, and the gentle peace-makers will want to try the house on for size, and know that if they sign a contract, they can back out if it doesn’t feel right.
If you’re decorating for yourself, then ignore the trends. White may be all the rage, but if you are a bold go-getter or a party animal, white might not be your thing, and you’ll probably feel more comfortable with a less trendy, albeit nice style. And vise versa. If the trends shift around, and suddenly people are decorating with chickens or maybe even ducks next, and you are the analytical sort, you can expect all your analytical friends to laugh at your decorating decisions.
Decorating is very personal, and trends are not. There is always a way to merge them together, but just because you’re seeing nothing but white painted brick, with white cabinets and white everything else, doesn’t mean that you should be changing your whole style to match these homes.
In another couple of years, black will be the new white, and who knows, maybe big metal stars on the outsides of homes will trend again. In the end, match your scheme to your personality, and you’ll enjoy your space much better.