Mary Bajor

Article Summary:

Home selling tips on how to redecorate your home to showcase its highlights and make a great first impression.

Home Selling Tip: Redecorating For a Great First Impression

Whether we would like to admit it or not, the décor of our home does play a vital role in our home’s resale value and marketability. Outdated appliances, worn carpeting, vintage wallpaper and harsh paint colors can turn off a prospective buyer and ultimately lengthen the duration of time the home is on the market. While some can look beyond the clutter and out-of-date furnishings to see spaces full of potential, other people find their imaginations distracted by it. With a little foresight and preparation, however, we can downplay the negative aspects and draw attention to the positive features of our homes which can result in successful showings. Everything from the front stoop to the attic rafters should be evaluated for changes that can give our homes that all important first impression. Here are some decorating tips that can be implemented to help showcase your home.

Draw Prospective Buyers In
Is your mailbox covered in peeling paint? Sometimes it’s the little things that matter. The mailbox is probably the first thing prospective buyers see when they approach your home. Replace it or paint it. While you’re at it secure new brass house numbers on the box as well. Even that little bit of sparkle is eye-catching. Now is the time to give your front door a new coat of paint also. Adorn the door with a handsome brass knocker and kick plate as well. Remember this will add to the curb appeal of your home.

The First Impression
The entry way or foyer should set the stage for the appearance of your entire home since this is the first area of your home a prospective buyer will view.
If your home is carpeted and the carpet extends on the stairway leading to the second floor, have the carpeting professionally steam cleaned. If the carpeting is worn, consider replacing it with a neutral color carpet. Provide a clean area rug in the entry way for visitors to wipe their shoes when they enter your home. This is the perfect area to hang a mirror and if possible position a shelf or small table. The mirror will bring reflected light into the space. The table is a great area to place a vase with fresh flowers that will bring a nice fragrance to the home.

The Heart of the Home
Have your kitchen cabinets seen better days? Paint can breathe new life into darkly stained or uninteresting cabinets. Consider a fresh coat of white, or off white semi-gloss paint to update old cabinetry. Clean thoroughly and check with your paint store for the proper products. While we’re on the subject of cleanliness, it is important that all the surfaces of your kitchen be free of grease and dirt. And don’t forget about the inside of your cabinets too! This is a good time to de-clutter the kitchen counter. Remove all small appliances from the counter and store neatly in the under counter cabinets or the closet. Remove refrigerator magnets which give a messy appearance to the space. Remember to appeal to your senses when you decorate. A large bowl of one kind of fresh fruit such as green apples will add beauty and a nice smell. Perk up your kitchen with a few new kitchen tea towels and placemats. Is your linoleum floor outdated? Consider replacing it with neutral colored flooring that will have wide appeal.

Create an Inviting Look
Is your living room light and bright? Highlight a beautiful view or large picture window. Install drapery rods a few inches above the top of the window to visually elongate your windows. Extend the rods a few inches on either side of the window. This will allow you to draw the draperies outward along the sides of the window to let as much natural light to stream into the room. Make sure your windows are squeaky clean too. Don’t forget to turn on several lamps in the room to get as much artificial light into the room as well. Will the placement of your furniture obstruct a path through the space? If so, a little furniture rearranging can correct this. Create a cozy conversation area with a sofa flanked by chairs on either side. The elimination of extra furniture pieces will give a voluminous appearance to the space and provide smooth traffic flow throughout. Keep artwork to a minimum. Too much visual stimuli will distract buyers from seeing the important features in your rooms. This would be a good time to edit your knickknacks and display like objects together, for example, objects of the same color, finish or theme. Accessorizing with a few larger scaled objects will eliminate the cluttered look resulting from an arrangement with several small things.

Update Tired Spaces
Turn your attention to the bathrooms in the home for small changes that will appeal to buyers. A fresh coat of off-white paint will give a clean appearance. Change out those plastic or vinyl shower curtains with a beautiful fabric curtain in a neutral color or texture. Secure it to the shower pole with attractive curtain rings. Remember it’s the small things that can make a difference. If the faucet is dated, have it replaced. It will make the sink look new. Always invest in a few new bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths. Neatly folded new towels can add a little luxury to the space.

Creating Restful Rooms
The bedrooms, as with all areas of the home, should be clutter free. Throw away, store away or give away anything that is not absolutely necessary. Crisp, clean linens on the beds are a must when buyers are viewing the bedrooms. Paint the rooms in soft muted colors that will be pleasing to the eye.

Mary M. Bajor is the owner of A Beautiful Room, an Interior Redesign and Decorating company in Brewster NY, specializing in custom window treatments. She is a Certified Window Treatment Consultant and affiliate IDS member. She also provides decorating to sell-home staging services to prepare homes for the real estate market. For more info, visit

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