The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Make a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave. One of the major contributors to a cluttered look is having too much furniture. When professional stagers descend on a home being prepped for market, they often whisk away as much as half the owner's furnishings, and the house looks much bigger for it. You don't have to whittle that drastically, but take a hard look at what you have and ask yourself what you can live without.
It's important that a dinner party centerpiece not block the view of guests on the other side of the table. Something tall and slender can still provide a dramatic effect without impeding conversation. Add tall blooming branches to a slender vase and surround with pebbles, marbles or sand to keep the branches in place.
Give yourself permission to move furniture, artwork and accessories among rooms on a whim. Just because you bought that armchair for the living room doesn't mean it won't look great anchoring a sitting area in your bedroom. And try perching a little-used dining-room table in front of a pretty window, top it with buffet lamps and other accessories, and press it into service as a beautiful writing desk or library table.
Make the most of an awkward space by giving it function. As seen on HGTV's Design On a Dime, the slanted ceilings in this attic bedroom created a hideaway nook with no real purpose. By adding wall-to-wall shelves and a desk, the area was immediately turned into a private office. This new space adds value to the home and is a feature potential buyers are sure to remember.
A hidden Murphy bed makes this home office a convertible guest bedroom.
Why not put that quirky collection to good use? Whether you collected marbles as a child or accumulate corks as an adult, either can be used as a vase filler for a floral centerpiece. Find a large, clear hurricane or vase, fill two-thirds full with corks,then arrange your favorite seasonal flowers for a simple and unique centerpiece.
Make your kitchen feel more open and airy by substituting traditional closed cabinets with narrow floating shelves. The openness of these shelves helps to create a feeling of added space while making everything more accessible. Design by John Gidding
Nature takes a front seat in this living room. The pairing of floating wooden shelves next to the white trimmed fireplace and cream walls creates a beautiful palette in which plants and flowers can thrive. The floral rug and wicker chair add to the sunny disposition of the room. Design by John Gidding
If you can't afford new cabinets, just get new doors and drawer fronts. Then paint everything to match and add new hardware. And instead of replacing the entire dishwasher, you may be able to get a new front panel. Check with the manufacturer to see if replacements are available for your model. If not, laminate paper, which goes on like contact paper, can be used to re-cover the existing panel.
To make a room appear to be bigger than it is, paint it the same color as the adjacent room. If you have a small kitchen and dining room, a seamless look will make both rooms feel like one big space. And make a sunporch look bigger and more inviting by painting it green to reflect the color of nature. Another design trick: If you want to create the illusion of more space, paint the walls the same color as your drapery. It will give you a seamless and sophisticated look.
Having tile professionally painted can make a bathroom look brand new. And accessorizing can make buyers feel like they're in a spa. Put out items like rolled-up towels, decorative baskets and candles. It's a great way to create a polished look, and it doesn't cost much to do.
As seen on HGTV's Design On a Dime, this small, yet sophisticated eat-in kitchen offers a seamless look thanks to a crisp, clean paint job. Small pops of color, plus decorative bar stools, allow the neutral wood countertop and cabinets to really shine.
Staged homes are almost always graced with fresh flowers and pricey orchid arrangements, but you can get a similar effect simply by raiding your yard. Budding magnolia clippings or unfurling fern fronds herald the arrival of spring, summer blooms add splashes of cheerful color, blazing fall foliage warms up your decor on chilly autumn days and holly branches heavy with berries look smashing in winter.
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