What sometimes gives me a headache is trying to renovate and decorate our townhouse with the tastes and preferences of someone I haven’t met in mind. As longtime readers know, the townhouse is a layover for us. Our plan was to be here for about five years before (hopefully) buying a cute lakefront home in another city. This summer marks year four and we’re still on schedule to move next year. Although we’ll do lots of de-cluttering and staging when the time comes to sell, we’ve tried to make things easier (and more economical) by making design decisions that will transition easily.
Because home buyers can be conservative and can sometimes have a hard time seeing past clutter, bold design or unusual design decisions, we’ve kept core elements “neutral”. When you take away our colourful art and accessories, the townhouse is quite simple: bright white walls, trim and doors, sheer and neutral curtains, white bathroom vanities with marble tops and grey floors, maple hard wood flooring (which is light and airy, but not too trendy), lots of white tile (in a herringbone pattern in the kitchen for some stealthy fun), and classic but contemporary fixtures in various neutral finishes. No turquoise chandeliers (although I want one)! Even a lot of our furniture (white guest bed and bedding, cream sofa, dark leather dining chairs) can be easily toned down for staging the house. I know, I know: we could go wild and stencil walls, paint the
ceiling blue and do all kinds of fun things and then paint it all out when it’s time to sell, but it’s taken so much
time, effort and cash to get the home from its “before” stage, it would be heart-breaking to have to do it all over again in a few short years for resale.
I think our formula is a good one but, honestly, you can never know what a home buyer will like. A house with bright green cabinets could catch someone’s eye while a home with a pretty grey bathroom can turn people off. It’s a gamble, but odds are better if a home can appeal to as many people as possible. So we keep things on the “safe” side. Here’s a little peak at some bold design choices that I like to fantasize about when I think about a future where we get to decorate a “forever” home.
Colourful glass counters (turquoise instead of green or pink) in an all white space would be nice. I also think playing with some pattern on the walls would be an interesting contrast with white walls.
If not colourful counters, then a dash of colourful tile would suffice – in a kitchen or bathroom.
I gravitate toward spaces with white floors, but somehow I think painting our maple flooring would be strongly discouraged by local realtors. Hubby would have a heart attack. Is it strange that I hope our next home has hardwood in terrible condition so I have to paint it a glossy white?
Sometimes I think a bright colour would be a striking choice too, especially with my penchant for white walls. I will have some colour on the laundry room floor because I doubt a cheery laundry room will make or break a deal, but I can see potential buyers running from a colourful room like this – especially if they hate the colour in question!
I’ve always lusted after a white kitchen but now I’m itching for one with more spunk. I think turquoise lower cabinets with pale grey uppers would be pretty, but any colour catches my eye these days.
Even with my self-imposed limitations, there are plenty of ways to add personality. I favor using punchy art and accessories (I have a huge art project in the works). Tomorrow I’m sharing more ways to add a dash of bright and quirky to an otherwise neutral (and sell-able!) space.