If hiring a decorator isn’t in your budget, here are some creative ideas to make your home appear as attractive as possible to potential buyers.
Simple is Good
The décor should always complement the style of the home, not overwhelm it. Get rid of unnecessary chairs, side tables, file cabinets, paintings or art, and distracting rugs or carpets. If there are bookshelves in a few rooms, make sure to either remove most of the contents, or “stage” them by arranging neutral items in clusters on every other shelf. If you can pull it off, place several small potted plants and vases of flowers strategically throughout the house, to create positive subliminal messages that it’s a healthy, pleasant, inviting space to live in.
Stick to Neutrals
If you have children, teens, or perhaps more eclectic taste yourself, it’s very likely you may have a few rooms that are painted more colorfully. Now is the time to neutralize bright or bold walls. Even a home seller with fabulous taste who’s able to pull off a mishmash of color schemes has to keep potential buyers in mind—bite the bullet and paint your walls with whites, taupes, and beiges. Lighter colors will open up the room and make it appear larger. Think of each wall as a backdrop, rather than a focal point. And remember, keep each room gender-neutral.
Take advantage of floor lamps, wall fixtures, and accent lighting to add dimension and warmth to each room. You should also take into consideration the purpose of each room, and make sure this is reflected in the type of the lighting used. For example, a kitchen is an area you’d want well-lit, so you’d use ambient lighting to create brightness throughout the room. If the kitchen is what you might describe as “cozy”, install under-cabinet lighting that can be switched on and off to focus light on the countertop area.
In a room that will be used for relaxation, such as a bedroom or den, try to avoid ceiling-mounted fixtures that may cause the light to appear harsh when viewed from below. In this case, floor and table lamps are the best way to go when creating a soft, welcoming atmosphere.
Accent lighting is useful when you want to draw attention to an attractive feature in the room, such as a bookcase or textured wall. Choose something like a recessed wall washer that directs light in a specific direction, so you can highlight the area or object.