Desirable décor: how to get it right when sellingSeven deadly decorating sins that buyers usually hate:
1. Too much colour
That dark blue kitchen might look fabulous in a magazine, but your north-facing one needs as much help as possible to show it off. Unless you are very confident in your design abilities, keep to clear, pale hues throughout the property, without being overly magnolia-neutral - some imagination is good, but perhaps stick to accessories like rugs and cushions if you’re unsure. A simple rule of thumb, if your property is on the dark side then always stick to a light palette.
If you’re lucky enough to have a light-filled home then feel free to be a little more daring, perhaps bringing in the odd accent of colour here and there. Keep an eye on what’s in vogue (right now grey ochre and lime green seem to hit the spot).
2. Too much stuff
It’s been said time and time again, but still we’re not clearing out the clutter. Too many large items of furniture, especially dark pieces, can make a place feel cramped and it can be difficult for buyers to see the full potential of the space. Less is almost always more. . . “If in doubt – move it out!”
3. Shabby front door
A really simple one this, and very easy to rectify. It’s common to overlook the front door as we tend not to notice our own, but it makes a big impression on a first viewing, so spruce it up with a fresh coat of paint, and again, go easy on the shocking pink; black, navy, dark green, or red if you’re feeling daring, are all good options.
4. Headache-inducing wallpaper
Wallpaper may be experiencing a comeback, but be wary: one person’s fabulous wallpaper is another’s costly removal exercise, and you don’t want a viewer to get distracted by those kind of thoughts while they look round. Stick to a single feature wall if you’re wallpaper-inclined and use interior magazines to help select a pattern that will appeal to your target buyer.
5. The wrong kind of carpet
This is a tricky one, as the carpet ‘v’ wooden floors debate is very subjective. Generally speaking, wooden floors in living areas and hallways tend to be popular, while carpets are gathering favour in bedrooms. As with walls, the same colour rule applies, neutral is best, so it’s definitely worthwhile ditching the swirling paisley for something a little more natural.
6. Dated bathrooms
Some say it’s bathrooms and kitchens that sell a property. So don’t let your sale down by not bothering to replace cracked or grotty tiling or an avocado suite. A shiny new white suite with decent shower is probably one of the best uses of a ‘doing up to sell’ budget there is, and if you can’t run to new tiling, then at least get any existing tiled walls and floors re-grouted.
7. Absolutely everything matching
This can be a little stifling, especially if the look is not entirely to everyone’s liking. Think of styling a room like you would a wedding outfit – you don’t necessarily need hat, bag, shoes and the dress all the same fabric or colour, and it’s the same with room accessories, be it an art nouveau vibe or a flower motif, go easy on your theme.