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When people begin thinking about selling their home, many of them take on some renovations beforehand. Sometimes it’s about completing that project that never quite got finished. Sometimes it’s about repairing minor damage; those dents and dings in the walls, that cracked lampshade or that baseboard trim that the dog chewed on when he was just a pup. No matter the size of the project, many people are unsure of how much work to do to get the maximum return on investment. A good rule for whether to paint or not is this; if you can’t recall the last time the walls were painted, if your walls have never been repainted in the years you have owned the house or if the wall colour is...let’s just say non-traditional, it would be a good idea to add that to the list of things to do before listing your house.
Wall colour is one of the first things buyers notice and a bad colour choice can actually drive potential buyers right out of the house. Some people will say “Paint everything white!” but I disagree. White can be a very stark and cold colour and may not work with the rest of the colours in the house. The best way to choose a colour is to look at the finishes that can’t easily be changed; flooring, cabinetry, tile, etc, and then find a more neutral colour that will work with these finishes. Avoid doing any bright colours or any fancy textured finishes. Faux finishes can have a place in your home but they will not help sell your house. Stick to neutrals like creams, grays or even beige. It doesn’t have to be white! Also, if you’ve never painted before, now may not be the best time to attempt it. You’re trying to impress your potential buyer, not make them wonder if the quality of the paint job is an example of the rest of your home maintenance. A professional painter will be an additional expense but, if you’re a painting novice, hiring a professional will get the job done faster and better than you ever will. Bonus: this also means you don’t have to clean up the mess, cleaning paint brushes and rollers is a hassle. However, if you do know what you’re doing, don’t forget to properly prep your walls to give the best finish possible. Either way, giving the whole house (or at least the main rooms) a fresh coat of paint will go a long way to impressing every potential buyer that walks through your door.
Remember, if you’re afraid of making a bad choice, you can always hire a colour consultant like myself to help you find the best colour for your space.
2019 Colour Trends
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As everyone who has ever bought or sold a house knows, the process is very emotional.
People selling their home often only see the things they love about their space. They don't see the flaws or the clutter, the sofa pushed tight up against the walls, the mismatched furniture, the nicks in the drywall. They see the years of love and all their happy memories. Buyers, however, are looking for a space that they can create those happy memories in and often can't see past the homeowners style or design choices. This is where a professional stager comes in.
Using a combination of the homeowner's decor and furnishings, supplemented with the stager's own inventory, the stager creates a space that buyers can more easily imagine themselves in. This can involve editing the homeowner's decor, re-organizing the furnishings to allow maximum flow and effective use of space, as well as making recommendations regarding painting, minor repairs and even major renovations, if necessary.
In many ways, staging is very similar to decorating. The goal is to create a space people want to live in. One big difference is that with staging, the goal is to appeal to the general public, not a specific person or persons. Certain paint colours or decor styles will actively put off many buyers and the stager's job is to help the homeowner sell their home for as much as possible, as quickly as possible. In the case of a vacant residence, the stager will bring in furnishings and decor to help create a feeling of home that is completely lacking in a vacant space. Buyers often have difficulty imagining how they would set up their own furniture or decor in a vacant residence and staging the space will help them see themselves there.
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Why hire an interior decorator?
All of these are reasons to consider hiring an interior decorator. Whether for a colour consultation to bring some colour into your room or help to bring together two different personal styles, a decorator brings their experience and resources to help create a space that works for the entire household.
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Even as a child I had dreams of being an interior designer. At 12, I convinced my mother to let me paint my bedroom and together we designed a repeating pattern of geometric shapes that I stenciled and painted on my walls. I spent hours making cushions and curtains to match. The end result was a space where I was at home, where I could relax and be myself.
Over the years, though I worked for my family business, I found ways of following my dream. I bought, redecorated, and sold several houses, and helped friends decorate, choose colours and stage their houses to sell. I learned colour theory, the history of art and architecture, and various painting techniques in my spare time, collected a ridiculously large library of books on everything from decorating, renovating, fine art and architecture, and binged on home decorating shows while (sometimes harshly) critiquing their design choices. I volunteered and then worked in theater, doing everything from sewing costumes to painting sets. I traveled to the UK and Europe, indulging my passion for architecture, art museums and decorating. I was hired to decorate a high-end local photography studio, which led to consulting for photographers internationally. My whole life has been filled with designing, in a variety of mediums and styles.
When our family business shut its doors, I was finally free to pursue official accreditation. I graduated with distinction from the University of Alberta Residential Interiors program and followed that immediately by completing the C.S.P. Professional Staging course. Armed with the knowledge I had learned from running the family business for twenty years, as well as my theatre background and my new certifications, I opened Heightened Impressions Decor and Staging. Since then I have been helping my clients stage and sell their houses quickly and painlessly, and to transform their homes into beautiful spaces they love to spend time in.