Design Lesson
Jun 7, 2010

Speed decorating to sell

Speed decorating to sell Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson
Jun 7, 2010

Speed decorating to sell

Home renovations, remodels, redesigns and revamps can cost time and money aplenty. That’s why smart cookies are giving New York City-based interior decorator, home stager and Speed Decorating author Jill Vegas’ fast ‘n’ furious design concept a whirl – especially if they want to successfully list their home.

Speed decorating your home so it looks its best can make the difference between selling fast and months on the market. Small changes, says Jill, can result in dramatic results, provided you’re willing to, “have the confidence to take action and create a home that’s inspiring and fun. It doesn’t take weeks and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg,” says Jill. Staying? “Speed decorating is about loving the home that you have right now,” says Jill, so speed decorating principles apply to happy-in-their-current-home owners, too.

We spoke to Jill to get the lowdown on how speed decorating works – and how to make it work for you.

Style at Home: How is Speed Decorating different from home renovating?
Jill Vegas: Home renovating is about calling in a professional to redo major things such as electrical plans or wall construction. With speed decorating, there are things you can do that don’t require a building permit to get a house that you love. S@H: Why is it so important to identify a “target audience,” when speed decorating or staging your home for selling?
JV: In this market, you want to open your home up to the largest possible audience to buy it. If it’s too specific, then it’s going to eliminate a whole bunch of people from wanting to buy it.

For example, a couple asked me to stage their chic designer loft. They had a toddler and her playroom was located where the dining room should have been. The entrance foyer was a weird hodgepodge of furniture. Even though it was a nice property, buyers couldn’t imagine the dining room or foyer because it looked cluttered and chaotic. Buyers were instantly turned off by the kids’ stuff all over the place. The point is, if you want to sell, then you have to make sure the property looks its best.

In this market, you don’t get a second chance. If you blow the first impression, it’s not going to sell. It’s that simple.

S@H: What are some of the best investments when it comes to cheap and über cheerful upgrades for your home?
JV: New light fixtures with clear crisp light; they will make the space feel cheery and bright.

Paint. Select a colour palette inspired by nature with warm greys, crisp whites and soft blues.

New bathroom hardware. Install new faucets and a new showerhead. Buy plush spa towels for the bathroom, plus a new shower curtain and accessories. S@H: Let’s say someone wants to list ASAP. What would you say are big-picture, key priorities they need to focus on?
Numero uno is getting rid of the clutter. Clutter eats equity so if you want the best price, get rid of the stuff.

Number two: Clean, clean, clean! The house needs to be impeccable. That means removing stained rugs, carpet and/or furniture. Bathrooms and kitchens should be impeccable. No hair or gross stuff on the floor, walls or cabinets. Clean all the light fixtures.

Number three is condition. Make sure everything is in perfect working condition. No leaky faucets or holes in the wall. If the throw pillows look wonky, then replace them. If the sofa is tattered, get rid of it or cover it.

S@H: Those sound like good rules if you’re planning to stay, too. What about some major “don’ts”?

JV: Don’t install ugly new appliances. I saw a listing where the owner boasted of a new renovation – but the appliances were shiny jet black and ugly. So it was a turn-off and downgraded the kitchen’s value. Don’t paint the walls purple or any other bold colour that could offend potential buyers. One owner painted his whole bedroom mocha brown and it made the whole space dreary and feel small. Don’t buy a cheap new furniture set. It looks cheap. If you’re going to invest in new furniture, then make sure it appeals to the target audience.

Get more fabulous speed decorating tips and tricks from Jill Vegas.

Speed Decorating: A Pro Stagers Tips and Trade Secrets for a Fabulous Home in a Week or Less by Jill Vegas. Published by Taunton Press. All rights reserved.
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Speed decorating to sell