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5 Tips for Keeping Your Home Timeless

Hi everyone, I’m excited to report that I’ll be attending High Point Market soon! If you aren’t familiar, it’s a trade show for our industry. In the weeks to come, I’ll share with you the latest trends in interior design. I can’t wait to see what’s hot and to share my finds with you! Meanwhile, today’s post focuses on creating classic spaces, both as a strategy to sell your home and to make your current home beautiful for years to come.

I’ve recently collaborated with multiple clients who hired me to update high-end (but dated) homes. Even though I enjoy guiding homeowners through their new builds, many homeowners reach out when they are preparing to sell or attempting to make a new home more personalized and livable. These are two very different processes, but they do share similarities. Unfortunately, without proper knowledge, homeowners who are preparing to list a home, remodeling a home, or even redecorating a home can encounter pitfalls. If you fall into one of these categories, read on to find out how to successfully navigate the process of updating your space while avoiding expensive mistakes!

When selling your home, the goal is to depersonalize. We’ve all heard the obvious tips, but in case you need a refresher, do pack away those family photos, declutter, and neutralize. The above photo is a great example of a staged dining room. Easy on the eyes but generic enough to appeal to many buyers.

Even though paint seems to be an easy fix, many potential buyers can’t see past minor, cosmetic issues. If you have screaming-red walls or espresso-brown everything, buyers may feel deflated and ignore your home’s beautiful architecture or stunning landscaping. In a market with an over-abundance of inventory, you may not even get a buyer through the door.

Here is where you should pay attention because sellers and home buyers get a lot of bad advice about choosing the right paint color. If there is one piece of advice I’d like you to remember from this post, remember this:

Painting everything grey does NOT automatically update your home.

In fact, if your hard finishes (like granite countertops and tile) were installed during the brown trend, grey walls will most likely make your home look lifeless and dreary! One recent client was advised, both by a realtor and her previous designer, to paint her walls grey—when grey clearly did not work with her home. Had she not trusted her gut, she would have made a very costly mistake because as you know, paint is expensive! She subsequently hired me for a paint consultation, and we determined what DID work—creamy whites and pale, green-undertone beiges. Instead of looking drab and dreary, her space became light and inviting. Staged correctly, her house will sell in a snap!

Here is another tip that you should remember:

While sellers should stick with neutral colors, buyers should incorporate color.

Homeowners should also seek to personalize their homes. I have a wonderful client who travels the world with her husband. She has an extensive art collection and unique finds from countries all over the world. While a home seller would need to scale down and pack away goodies such as these, we sought to highlight and compliment her collection, in part, by using wall color.

Although neutral, monochromatic palettes work well for selling, they can be a bore to live with. Today’s greige-neutral paints work beautifully as a backdrop for fresh color if they coordinate with your hard finishes (again, meaning countertops, cabinetry, flooring, and tile). Whether through furnishings, accessories, or wall color, don’t be afraid to add a little personality to your home!

Traditional Home

Remember that if you decorate all in shades of grey, you are guaranteed to have a dated home within a few years when the grey trend ends and the new (yet-to-be determined) trend begins. But if you decorate with colors that you love, your décor will have much more longevity.

Moreover, when introducing color, make sure your rooms flow. The easiest way to do this is to repeat one color throughout your rooms, even if the rest of your palette varies. The colors should also coordinate. Keep in mind whether your colors are fresh or muted, saturated or pale, and vivid or subdued. Does this sound confusing? Here’s a hint—limiting your color palette will make it easier.

Sellers need to get rid of extra “stuff,” but home buyers should layer when designing their home. My realtor often suggests that clients remove draperies from windows to highlight architecture and let in the maximum amount of natural lighting, which works for selling a home. But living in a house with bare floors and windows can feel sterile. Rugs, window treatments, accessories, artwork, wallpaper, and beautiful lighting are some of the layers that help a home feel thoughtfully designed and finished.

If you want to save time and money, hiring the right designer takes the guesswork (and risk) out of the process. Did you know that I’m a Maria Killam True Color Expert? Contact me to collaborate—I’d love to help you create a home that makes you feel proud!

Remodeling Your Home

If you are remodeling, either to sell a home or update your current home, here are my top 5 tips for keeping your hard finishes classic. Whether you are buying or selling, classic is timeless!

Top 5 Tips for Keeping Your Hard Finishes Classic

1. For hardwood floors, a medium brown finish works well for most homes. Pale wood works nicely in coastal homes and contemporary abodes. Avoid greys and espresso browns as the former will date and the latter is difficult to maintain (and screams early 2000’s).

2. A white kitchen is always classic. Painting or staining the island and/or lower cabinets in a coordinating color is a nice way to add contrast and interest without going whole hog on a color you may later regret.

Even though navy cabinets are currently trending, limiting this classic color to lower cabinets is a low-risk way to add personality.

3. White or cream subway tile makes a great neutral backsplash! Avoid trendy charcoals, busy patterns, or multicolored mosaics as they will quickly become dated.

4. White or cream subway tiles also work wonderfully in a bathroom. Carrara marble and the Carrara marble-look porcelain tiles that are now available also work well. Do avoid the busy brown, beige, and grey tiles that seem to be so ubiquitous in homes built in the past decade. The browns are already dated and the greys will be dated soon enough.

5. For kitchen and bathroom countertops, Carrara marble, Calacatta marble, and solid (or marble-patterned) quartz are great choices. A butcher-block island countertop can also bring warmth to an all-white kitchen.

Do you have a general design question that you would like answered in my blog? Contact me here with your question!

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