How to Create a Cohesive, Buyer-Friendly Style throughout Your Home
We love our homes and spend thousands on kitting them out to reflect our personal tastes. But when it comes to selling up, our colour and décor choices tell a story to potential buyers.
For some, the story is a happy one: a home that’s clean, filled with light and utilising a space to its best advantage. For others the décor is more of a nightmare – a poorly lit, cluttered home with little consideration for how buyers can use the space.
Creating a cohesive look throughout your home looks stylish, gives your home a clear personality and is generally just more appealing to prospective buyers. Here is my guide to creating a house style that clinches that all-important offer:
It makes sense that if you’re selling your home you should try to make it appeal to as many people as possible. So, those brightly coloured walls have got to go! Most of them anyway.
Paint your home in neutral shades of cream or magnolia throughout. Granted, it may be a little boring, but you have to account for the fact that absolutely anyone could walk into your home and sigh in relief that the first thing they won’t have to do when they move in is paint over your daughter’s bright pink bedroom walls. If a room ends up looking too bland, add a touch of character back in with one feature wall in a contrasting colour.
Complement the Architecture
If you are lucky enough to live in a period property, then you should be doing everything in your power to highlight the original features. This means that if you have an original wrought iron fire surround, for example, then you should make sure that the tiles around it are all intact and are in a style that suits the era of the property.
Buyers either want a period home or a modern one. They don’t want a home with stunning Victorian architecture in one room and a squared-off modern look in the next. Decide what your home’s personality is and stick with it.
Staging Your Home
You don’t need to hire a professional house stager to rearrange your home; you can just as easily move all the furniture around yourself. There are just a few things to remember as you’re doing it. One: de-clutter, two: regroup and three: transform.
De-clutter your furniture and fittings and put anything in storage that doesn’t serve an immediate purpose for the room. A good way to remember what should or shouldn’t be in your house is to think of it in terms of how a holiday home is presented. If you hired a villa, would you expect to see an old sewing machine in the corner of the living room? No, you wouldn’t. So put yours in the attic before viewings.
Regroup all of the remaining furniture into zones, where the furniture is set in such a way as to point out to the viewer exactly what the area is used for. For example, a breakfast nook should contain only stools to sit on and maybe a coffee machine nearby; this place is for breakfast and breakfast only. The fact that you may do a lot of work on your laptop here is not apparent to viewers because the laptop and associated wires are tidied away before they arrive.
Once you’ve pared your home down to the bare minimum, you’ll often find a particular theme stands out amongst what’s left. Maybe your dining table was so covered in clutter before you never noticed it was the exact same shade of teak as your bedroom cabinets, but these are the cohesive elements buyers love. They show they’re not just buying a bunch of mismatched rooms, they’re buying a home.
The junk room or box room or whatever you may call that room with no purpose needs to be transformed into a proper room with a discernible function or you may never get that sale. If people go into your spare room and all they see is cardboard boxes, they’re going to think that there’s something wrong with the room – that it’s too cold to settle in there, for example, or those boxes are hiding damp. Don’t give viewers the opportunity to let their imaginations wander.
Buy a gorgeous dining table and show them that that junk room is actually a wonderful family-oriented space!
To create a house style that’s magazine-ready, you should consider buying some art in similar styles to dot around the walls of your house, to create focal points and pull the look together once and for all.
Whether your taste is for abstract art or traditional portraiture, it’s worth investing in some art to hang on your walls because you’ll likely keep them for your next home too. Stick to the same colour family throughout and obviously don’t choose an oil portrait in one room and a modern metal sculpture next door!
What else can people on the housing market do to create a cohesive look that attracts buyers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Estelle Page is a UK interior designer with a passion for all things crafty and eco-friendly. She loves to help clients create a cohesive look that ‘flows’ throughout the entire home.