– Matt Blatt’s in-house stylist shares her 8 steps for styling to sell –
Much more than baking muffins or brewing coffee, these days preparing your home for sale tends to be a much more professional proposition – especially in the era of super-styled homes taking centre stage on reality TV.
With entire companies devoted to property styling for sale popping up all over the place, the idea of seeking the help of those with an eye for inspired interiors is no longer reserved for the high end of the market….and countless real estate agents will vouch for the impact clever styling can have – not just on the final sale price, but on the speed of the sale too.
Whether you opt to engage a stylist or property staging company, or to have a crack at DIY styling, Matt Blatt’s resident stylist Judyta Hulme shares her top tips for preparing your home for sale.
Less is more
Even if your personal style involves a home where every surface is covered in offbeat ornaments and textured throws adorn every chair, when it comes to styling for sale, less is definitely more.
“While we’re not saying your home should be empty, it’s best to clear ornaments, photos and personal treasures from bookshelves, tables, credenzas and bedside tables, replacing them instead with minimalist styling and a couple of carefully chosen features, such as a vase of fresh blooms, a framed print, a feature pair of bookends or a curated collection of coffee table books – but not all at once!” advises Judyta.
Make sure there’s room to move
Similarly, if your living room usually houses two sofas, a handful of armchairs, a bean bag, an ottoman and a slew of side tables…pare it back. “A simple arrangement is best, such as a generous modular sofa, one contrasting armchair, a coffee table and a side table by the sofa, then accessorise with a generous rug, some greenery and a coffee table book or simple vignette.
Another example would be dining tables which are too large for a space, with little room to move around them. Judyta advises removing them in the pre-sale period and replacing them with a smaller setting or a circular table which allows people to easily move around the furniture, adding to the illusion of space.
Mirrors can work magic
Every interior expert’s favourite tool to trick the eye, mirrors are an ingenious option to reflect light and create an illusion of space.
“Add a large mirror behind a sofa to make your living space appear larger, pop a mirror above a mantel, add a mirror at the end of a hallway, or pop one in a surprising spot, such as on a covered outdoor patio or on a staircase – then be sure to put something worth showing off where the mirror will show it off,” advises Judyta.
According to Judyta, every room should have a clear focal point. Whether it’s a gorgeous coloured or leather sofa, a striking artwork, a dishy dining table or a cool credenza – but when styling for sale, make sure you only pick one.
“If you opt for a gorgeous gold credenza, such as Matt Blatt’s Colton Credenza, to take centre stage in your living space, don’t pair it with a super bright sofa, a zany rug and a massive chandelier. Sure that may be your own eclectic style, but when you’re trying to appeal to the broadest possible buyer base, it’s best to draw the eye to one beautiful piece in each room, rather than cluttering the potential buyer’s brain with competing furniture pieces which will distract them from imagining themselves, and their lives, living at your place.”
While fuschia walls and a chevron couch may make your heart sing, it’s probably not the wisest choice when it comes to widening the net for potential buyers.
“Much as we’re huge fans of colour here at Matt Blatt, if you’re styling your home for sale, we’d suggest restricting your love of colour to either saturated colour on the walls, or on a feature piece of furniture – not both,” suggested Judyte.
“For instance, if your walls are painted in a lush green, pair them with a cream or tan leather couch, or if you’ve opted for neutral white or pale grey walls, you can inject a bit of colour in the form of a teal sofa – but don’t do both. And remember, rugs, cushions, flowers and artwork are the easiest options for including colour without fear of over-doing it.”
Remember your target market
If your home is likely to appeal to a family with teenagers, then style it to show off roomy bedrooms, multiple living area options – perhaps one open plan and a separate media, home theatre or study. If your area is favoured by families with small children, transforming one of your bedrooms into a designated play room is a great idea, while targeting couples without kids might involve converting a bedroom to a formal dining room or home office.
Go for green
Whether you choose real plants or flowers of the growing range of fabulous faux options, a touch of green needs to be seen – and is an excellent tool to link the interior and exterior spaces, especially between open plan living spaces and the backyard.
The final flourish
They say the little things often have the biggest impact – and Judyte agrees. “Imagine painting walls, carefully selecting the perfect furniture and accessories and then turning potential buyers off because of a lack of attention to detail. Freshly ironed bedlinen, new towels in the bathroom, immaculate wardrobes – yes people will look inside – a tidy garden, no shoes at the front door, working light globes and perfectly polished floors all make a huge difference to the impression your home makes…after all, you’re not just selling a house, you’re selling a lifestyle.”