Some of us hold back when we renovate. We push our favourite colours – those quirky additions and personal touches – aside because, when it comes time to sell, what if buyers don’t share our taste?
However, conservative styling to suit what we think others will be attracted to is a fatal mistake, according to Sold on Styling’s Melinda Jamieson and Suzy Piani.
“Unfortunately, many homeowners and renovators attempt to second guess what people will like,” Jamieson said.
“As a consequence, the result is compromised and may be devoid of style. For example, we notice many houses awash with grey and beige because it is ‘safe’. Alternatively, if homeowners purely follow trends, they will not only end up with a homogenous look shared with countless others, but a style which will date far more quickly.”
Jameson says the trick is a careful balance of the unique and contemporary. Not only will you create a look that comes alive with your own personality, but you’ll have a classic look that stands the test of time.
“A great analogy is the advice given on how to buy clothes – buy less but spend more on classic pieces and put them together with your staples,” Jamieson says.
“The same can be said about furniture and accessories. For example, find a fabulously shaped vintage chair and, if necessary, have it re-upholstered. A statement piece such as this will make a room sing every time with its unique personality and patina.”
A house that reflects your personality will feel more like home and it will also help your property stand out from the crowd when it comes time to sell.
“The entire real estate landscape has shifted in the last decade, resulting in prospective buyers scanning dozens of properties online to find that perfect home,” Piani says.
“A buyer’s attention is captured when images stand out from others as they scroll down the page. Therefore, styling properties for sale has become an increasingly popular mechanism to attract interest in a property.”
One Agency Crane Properties agent Peta Swarbrick says you have just a couple of seconds to capture a buyer’s attention online and the photos are more important than ever.
It’s the first battleground,” Swarbrick says.
“We’ve all become used to Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook and you have to compete at a much higher level of sophistication to cut through.
“Lots of owners get the message that the home should be ‘blandified’ but it’s quite the opposite. The whole notion of an empty room with neutral colours can work fine if buyers get there, but you have to get them there first.”
Swarbrick says a beautifully styled home can add as much as 25 per cent to the sales result and every home is worthy of styling.
“People expect million-dollar properties to be styled, but it’s often the more modest properties that can benefit the most,” Swarbrick says.
“Every property is someone’s castle and deserves to be styled.”
Regardless of how you’ve decorated your home, a stylist can help tie the elements together when it comes time to sell.
“Think about styling as a tool to attract people, like bees to a honey pot,” Piani says.
“If you are getting your property styled by a professional, be prepared to allow for changes that are not necessarily to your taste. Your stylist and agent should be tailoring the styling to the market you are selling to. As a result, the styling might not necessarily be a reflection of how you live in the property day to day.”
So if you’re renovating don’t be afraid to experiment and mix and match – keep in mind that when it comes to sell, it could be those glimpses of your personality that set your home apart.
“Great styling is visually stimulating, exudes warmth, uses light well and creates a feeling of spaciousness even when a property is not necessarily big,” Jamieson says.
Elements of a stylish home
- Colour Jamieson advises choosing three or four colours that work well with each other and using them in different textures. “Colours should be layered rather than using them in equal quantities,” Jamieson says. “For example, when a colour is only accented in a couple of objects and a cushion in a room, it can pull everything together.”
- Texture Using a combination of materials will add texture and warmth to a space, Piani says. “In addition to combining old and new furniture, mix up materials for textural interest, for example a leather sofa with chairs that are covered in fabric.”
- Pattern Don’t be afraid to use patterns, Piani says. “These will bring your home to life and are an easy way to evoke mood,” she says. Wallpaper is making a big comeback and there are some beautiful designs available. “Even getting custom-made wallpaper is not as expensive as you might think.”
- Lighting The fixtures can add just as much to a room light itself. “Why have a boring, cream lamp shade when you could have in recovered in a beautiful fabric?” Jamieson says. “Not only does it inject colour into the room, but a soft light in an intimate corner creates a lovely ambience.”
Be bold, not beige
Beautiful wallpapers and an original Verner Panton feature light gave Bernadette Kelly’s home in Forde its distinctive character.
“The priority was getting the design layout and the kitchen space right, but on top of that I wanted interior design features that were fun, stylish and visually appealing to me,” Bernadette says.
“A brand new house can be so sterile and people don’t always give thought to the experience that you have in the house every day.”
When it came time to sell, it were those unique features that helped the home attract large numbers to open homes, according to stylists Melinda Jamieson and Suzy Piani.
One Agency Crane Properties agent Peta Swarbrick noted there were several homes on the market in Forde when Bernadette’s property was listed, however it was the home’s personality that gave it the edge over other homes in the suburb.
“It was an amazing auction for a little home in Forde,” Peta said.
“We had young buyers who had been looking in Aranda and O’Connor and they had never looked in Forde, but this property grabbed their attention and made them think.”
Bernadette wasn’t thinking about the sale when she designed her home, she chose finishes that she loved and she advises others to do the same.
“Use the space to reflect your style,” Bernadette says.
“Enjoy it and have fun living in it.”
122 Langtree Crescent, Crace
A striking facade, luxury inclusions and a bold, monochromatic colour scheme give this home in Crace its opulent sense of style.
A grand staircase at the entry foyer leads the way to the expansive living areas and bedrooms on the upper floor.
The formal lounge at the front of the home boasts high ceilings, a balcony and a tranquil two-way aquarium separates it from the informal living area.
A stunning designer kitchen forms the centrepiece of the open-plan living area and is equipped with a walk-in pantry, black glass appliances as well as ample bench space.
It overlooks the family and dining room, which spill out onto a covered alfresco dining area.
Entertainers will love the seamless indoor-outdoor flow and the abundance of space. An outdoor kitchen makes catering a breeze and the backyard has plenty of room for the kids to play.
The master suite is segregated at the front of the home and features a walk-in wardrobe and a large en suite complete with double vanity and a bath.
The secondary bedrooms are at the rear of the home alongside a decadent family bathroom with free-standing tub.
Both bathrooms are finished with floor-to-ceiling tiles in a sleek black and white palette.
The lower floor encompasses a huge four-car garage and a series of flexible storage rooms that lend themselves to myriad options.
Close to arterial roads, the home is just a short drive from the Gungahlin and Belconnen town centres. Shops and playgrounds are within walking distance.
Tenders close at 5pm on Thursday, August 25. Phone Maria Selleck Properties agent Maria Selleck on 0417 258 803. EER: 6. Inspect: Saturday, 12.30pm-1.15pm.