When you’re preparing your home for rent or sale, you want to make it look as attractive as possible. That means repairing any leaks, getting rid of external damage, and making the house clean and tidy. But you also need to style your property for added effect.
Usually, when a prospective buyer or renter looks at the house, all they see is a wide open space. If they have a good imagination, they can probably visualise their stuff inside the house, but not everyone can do that, and most tenants are visually oriented. It is easier to sell if they can see, touch, and experience the new house.
To this end, it helps to stage the property. Staging means putting in some furniture and home accessories so that the empty house turns into a welcoming home. You could hire a professional staging agency to help you out with this. They will rent you everything you need. Some will even deliver it to your house, install it for you, and do the reverse once you sell.
That said, there are times when you want to do the basics for yourself. It might be a matter of budget or personal taste. It might even be that you’re a DIY enthusiast and prefer a hands-on approach to home décor. Start with a centrepiece. A single large decorative item will set the tone for the room. It could be a family portrait, natural painting, or even framed fabric.
This large piece is intended as an artistic statement, so select something that displays the style you want. Photos evoke a family feel. A landscape or waterscape creates a feeling of serenity and calm. A modern abstract builds a sense of stylistic adventure, while a well-chosen canvas or fabric backdrop displays warmth and fashion forwardness.
Numbers are a good way to create accents, and odd numbers seem to work better than even ones. Arrange your candles, vases, knick knacks, picture frames, and other decorative items in groups of three or five. To highlight this design feature, you can create a ‘spotlight’ effect by lighting up their position.
We always assume that plain things are more attractive, but our eyes are naturally drawn to prints and patterns. Even seemingly unadorned items like tree trunks, barks, and leaves have intrinsic designs and shapes on them. The human brain automatically seeks patterns. That’s why we see shapes in a cloud and hear music in the wind.
Use this reflex to inspire beauty in your house. Instead of a plain coloured wall, use printed wall paper to build up an emotional reaction in your prospective tenants and buyers. If you don’t want to commit to that, try something simpler like patterned cushions, curtains, or rugs. These are easier to remove if your tenant dislikes your choice of colour.
As you’re choosing your prints and patterns, be careful to do it sparingly. If you use too much variety, you will overwhelm the senses. So, for example, if your curtains are patterned, go easy on the wallpaper and vice versa. If you have large prints on your cushions, go plain or neutral for the rest of your soft furnishings.
This principle applies to your furniture as well. Select a single style and follow through. Don’t mix modern chrome seating with plush ethnic fabrics. This will confuse the eye and can end up putting off prospective clients.
Pick one central theme and explore it tastefully. If you’re going industrial, stick to minimalist features and metallic accents. If you’re going rustic, find electronics and furnaces that have a faux wood finish or dark mahogany colouring.
One of the easiest ways to turn a cold, detached house into a warm, cosy home is to incorporate plants. You may have a landscaper for the outside of the building, but don’t neglect the inside. Some flowers, terrariums, table-top topiary, or even the garden variety house plant can go a long way in making your space more inviting.