Yesterday I bemoaned the fact that our first home is a temporary home, so every design decision is made with strangers in mind. This means no hot pink tile, painted wood floors, or turquoise ceilings. But we still try to add personality to our space. After all, we live here now! For anyone else in a temporary spot (especially renters), here are some great ideas for keeping things neutral (like flooring, walls, kitchen cabinets and drapes), but still adding some personality.
Colourful art is obviously my not-so-secret weapon for jazzing up very house-buyer friendly white walls. If I think some of our art might be too bold for potential buyers to see past, it’s easily stashed in the basement and replaced with a black and white photo. Easy.
Large scale paintings can replace ambitious and trendy ideas like wallpaper and even wilder ideas like handwritten wall designs.
Furniture and more.
I have few really colourful pieces of furniture, but they are a great way to add colour and spunk to a room with neutral walls and floors. Bri Emery’s new living room has simple wood floors, white walls and drapes and a neutral rug (all sell-friendly) but the furniture and art make the room special. Even the addition of a cheery lamp and glossy table already lend the room great personality. Although some buyers can be turned off by even personal items (like furniture and accessories) they are easy to swap out – especially if you have a friend with neutral furnishings – temporarily. Much less commitment than turquoise walls or kitchen cabinets.
I like the idea of sneaking colour into stealthy spots: like the inside of kitchen cabinets. Like my secret Pyrex stash, it’s a little treat every time you open the cupboards but isn’t a large enough colour commitment to scare off potential buyers and, if you’re worried, it takes very little paint to cover it up!
Less is more.
A home-stager advised our neighbours to remove quite a bit of their furniture. Her guideline was to ask each homeowner to remove about 70% of their furniture and knick knacks to show off a home to its fullest potential. We’re trying to keep our home uncluttered to begin with, because I have no idea where to put 70% of a home’s stuff when it’s time to sell and, further, moving stuff is awful. So we make the most of each item. Sometimes all a spartan room needs is one pretty thing. A small, thoughtful detail can really make an impact.
Quirky little details, like a house number in a tiled entryway, are a small enough risk to take.
Who said neutral is boring? A space with quietly layered textures and shades is sell-able, and loveable.
Are you a renter, or selling soon? How do you keep your space neutral enough for someone else, but still personal enough to be “yours”? What would turn you off an apartment or house that you were considering?