As many of you know, Dress My Nest is in the planning stage of our dream home building project. Part of this process involves saying a fond farewell to our current family home. While I was preparing our home for sale Deb Tapp of the Dominion Post asked me to summarise the steps involved so I thought I would share them again here! Just be careful you don’t do too good of a job you might end up wanting to stay (also speaking from my own current experience!!)
I’ve put together a 10 step process to help you get your home looking as good as can be come open home.
1. DECLUTTER. I definitely recommend binge watching Marie Kondo on Netflix. I’ve been a fan of hers for years and love that she empowers you to keep what you love but say goodbye to things you don’t. Work through your house and garage putting things into sell, donate, throw or keep piles. Action the throw, sell and donate as quickly as you can so they don’t just stay piles of clutter. When you put things away, tidy as you go making sure the insides of cupboards and your garage as as neat and clutter free as possible. You want to make sure people can see the ample storage your home has.
2. MAINTENANCE. Now is the time to tackle the to do list. Fix any issues, tidy up any paint work, replace any lightbulbs that have blown. If you are unsure of any issues you might even consider getting a builders report so you can be one step ahead of buyers by fixing anything that could come up when they get a report of their own. Get your house washed. This can sometimes cause paint to peel a little so make sure you whip around and sand off any loose paint then touch up so its looking as good as new. Look at making any major decor changes you need to - for example painting out any feature walls that won’t appeal to everyone to give your home a nice, neutral base. A lick of paint isn’t going to cost you a lot but the elbow grease is worth it.
3. DRESS EACH ROOM. Think about the purpose of each room and dress accordingly. You need to think about what people are looking for in the market. A lot of people have boxes to tick, it might be four bedrooms and two living areas, so think about what will make your house most appealing. Make sure you think about the function of each room and make sure they are presented in such a way that the buyer can imagine that each room is useful and necessary.
4. GROW EVERY ROOM. By this I mean go through every room with the specific intention of making it look as big as possible. This might mean putting some of your furniture into storage. It’s a fine line between cluttered and homely - you want to make sure you strike that perfect balance so that your home looks loved and lived in, but also spacious and neutral. You need to give each room as much floor space as possible so think about whether you really need to keep that ottoman, or extra chest of drawers in the room. The last thing you want to do is make a room look overstuffed and cluttered - and therefore small.
5. DEPERSONALISE. The buyers coming through your home need to feel comfortable and need to imagine themselves living here. That does mean putting away some of the family photos. You don’t want people to feel like they are intruding in your space. But what people often forget is that this doesn’t just apply to family memorabilia - in the bathroom put away your toiletries, in the laundry hide the washing and in the study hide any sensitive information - in fact make sure your office is just a blank space almost like a hot desk that anyone could sit down and work at!
6. ADD LAYERS OF DECOR. If you can invest in a few new items now is the time to do so. Think about lovely new fresh towels that you can keep aside just for the open homes (and then can take with you to your new bathroom). Add some new cushions to the sofa to give it that coordinated look at home stagers are so good at. Make your beds better than you ever have before with fresh sheets, fluffy duvets and throws and more cushions than you would ever usually dare to. Make your home look as inviting as a luxury boutique hotel.
7. STOP & SMELL THE ROSES. If people walk into your home and it smells amazing, its going to give that feel good factor and create lasting memories. Thats a fact. By layering in a gorgeous smell you are invoking another sense which actually helps memories form in your brain. This works in the same way with not so lovely smells. So lay off the curries and garlic in the kitchen before an open home - and think about fresh baking instead. Add some candles and diffusers through the house and keep windows and doors open and circulating fresh air. It goes without saying that fresh flowers are essential too.
8. LIGHTING. Bright rooms looks bigger, more inviting and more cheerful. Make sure every room is as bright as possible. Draw curtains right back, take down any nets, lift up the sunscreen blinds (unless they are hiding a manky view) and turn on all the lights. Replace the bulbs if you need to. Put some table or floor lamps around the house and make sure they are turned on too.
9. GREENERY. While it goes without saying that you’ll need some fresh flowers, just like when I’m finishing an interior design project I love to add greenery to every room. Plants give a sense of fresh air and life to a room. You can mix real and faux plants for a low maintenance option that is going to give your home a real lift.
GET READY FOR PHOTOS. Think about your stying for the photo shoot. Get inspiration from interior designers (whose instagram accounts will be full of perfectly curated shots) and magazines. Look at your home from an interior design point of view. You want it to look aspirational, like a magazine shoot rather than someones personal space. Style the coffee table, create some interesting vignettes and think about everything that will be in the shot. Make sure the photos are interesting but that the rooms look nice and spacious and make sure you photograph on a lovely sunny day - no pressure!
SIT BACK AND RELAX AND TRY NOT TO FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH YOUR HOUSE. Once you’ve done all this work your house will be looking amazing. Time to sit back and enjoy a glass of well earned wine and try not to get toooo emotional about saying goodbye to your gorgeous home!