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Show your home at its very best

Original Article –

Alicia G. Monedero / Shutterstock

Thinking of putting your house on the market? You don’t have to get knee-deep in DIY to get your house ready for valuations and viewings. From tidying up the garden and putting potted plants on the doorstep to what colours to paint your home, these expert home styling ideas will help you create a fantasy that will seduce potential buyers. Home stage your house right and you could sell quickly and, most importantly, for the best possible price. 

Upgrade the exterior

Ewelina Wachala / Shutterstock

The exterior of your property is probably the most important aspect to consider when preparing your home to sell. Buyers may take a ‘drive-by’ before they even arrange to view it. Online estate agents Strike explains: “Kerb appeal is one of the key selling points for potential house buyers, as their minds can be made up in a matter of seconds”. Jet wash the driveway, trim hedges, paint exterior window frames and front gates to make a smart first impression.  

Paint or replace the front door

Urban Front

Pay special attention to the presentation of your front door – after all, this is the gateway to your home’s interior and offers an instant impression of what lies behind it. If your door is in good condition, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint and changing up the hardware. Alternatively, a brand new door could give the front of your house the facelift it needs. Remember to clean any door furniture and add a potted plant and doormat to the front step, for a lovely welcome.

Light it up

Garden Trading

Once you’ve perfected the front door, ensure it’s illuminated in the right way. If you have a porch light, put in a new bulb and make sure it’s working as it should be. Entrance lighting can do more than help you find the lock at night – it can also set the stage for what lies inside. Forget harsh security lighting and think outside the box when it comes to lighting up your entrance. Consider hanging lanterns or statement wall-mounted pieces that also act as decorative elements.

Make an entrance

Flooring Superstore

Once a potential buyer steps through the front door, your entrance hall will offer them an instant impression of your home – an opinion that could be difficult to change once it’s been made. So, it’s essential to ensure your hallway is a light-filled and inviting space that really says ‘home’. Make sure the space is easy to manoeuvre around, and if possible, offers a line of sight to the garden. Mirrors can enhance the impression of space, while a clutter-free layout will set a relaxed tone.

Enlarge spaces


Make rooms seem bigger than they are where you can. Clear out unnecessary belongings and clutter, and keep furnishings to a minimum, so as not to overwhelm spaces. Again, the right lighting and a few carefully positioned mirrors can enhance the impression of space, while a lick of paint and some houseplants will ensure your rooms feel light, fresh and inviting.

Decorate neutrally


Try not to impose personal taste onto buyers by keeping all décor as neutral as possible. Not only will this allow them to envisage making their mark on the property, it will also make the most of natural light and maximise space. Researchers at discovered that grey, off-white or beige are the most popular paint colours for walls when using Google’s search. But don’t be afraid to add the odd feature wall to accent your rooms.

Create a focal point

Satara Australia

Creating a focal point is a fantastic way to draw buyers’ eyes into a space and make your home memorable. Buyers prefer living rooms that aren’t dominated by a huge TV, so instead use furnishings and décor to do the job. A focal point can be a statement sofa, a well-placed mirror, wall art or a well-chosen rug. Walk into your living room and note the first thing you notice. What draws the eye? If it’s something unattractive, remove it.

Coordinate soft furnishings

George Home

The general rule of thumb is to decorate neutrally; but a few subtle accent shades will help create interest and personality. Inject colour temporarily using soft furnishings such as cushions or rugs and be sure they are complementary and consistent throughout each room. Remove any tatty throws and arrange cushions neatly on seating. 

Declutter everywhere

Harvey Jones

Get the balance right between clutter-free and sparse. Estate agent Liz Humphreys at Yopa suggests “Declutter as much as possible, remove all small ornaments and personal items to show as much clear floor and surface space as you can.” In the kitchen remove the bin and but don’t hide away generic items that help make the room look usable. Stylishly arranged chopping boards add warmth and texture, while potted herbs offer colour and fragrance. And when it comes to cabinetry… here’s a tip. In the kitchen it pays to be brave with colour. In a poll of 2,000 homeowners carried out by Magnet blue came out on top, with 41% voting it as the most attractive and expensive-looking.

Style your surfaces

Garden Trading

Decluttering is crucial but keeping surfaces well-styled will create visual interest without sentiment. Group accessories in odd numbers; candles, vases of flowers and coffee table books are objects that are attractive but will not seem personal to you, the vendor. Continue the same formula with any shelves and bedside tables. The rule of three is always a good place to start.

Set the scene


As well as styling your surfaces, it’s important to create a homely space that others can envision using. The dining room is a great place to do this, as it allows potential buyers to picture themselves hosting friends and family for gatherings and annual holidays. Lay the table as if you were about to host a dinner party and if you don’t have a designated dining room, ensure your home offers an obvious area for eating, even if it’s the kitchen island.

Create defined zones


When selling your home, it’s important not to confuse potential buyers. Ensure your rooms clearly show their purpose. If your dining room usually doubles as your home office, consider removing your desk during viewings, to enable spaces to feel comfortable and not overused. By assigning each room or zone with its own purpose, you can give buyers the impression that there’s a space for every task.

Freshen up paintwork

Benjamin Moore

A move-in ready home is attractive to buyers, so give any scuffed walls a lick of paint. Unattended woodwork can be a clear sign of neglected décor, as knocks and scuff marks are commonplace and show easily. So, freshen up door frames, coving and skirting boards with a sand-down and fresh coat of paint to make them look cared for and as good as new. 

Have carpets professionally cleaned


Invest in cleaning tasks that can transform the look and feel of a room. A professional carpet clean has so many benefits; it will eradicate embedded dust, stains, discolouration as well as bacteria, which can all make your floor coverings look dull and lead to musty smells. A professional sofa and oven clean is well worth it too. 

Rearrange furniture

Make living spaces as open as possible. This might mean pulling a sofa away from a wall so buyers can walk around a space. If a room is compact think about renting storage space to remove larger pieces and then rearrange key furniture to look and feel as spacious as possible. 

Organise the garage


Parking spaces are in high demand, so an organised garage that is clear and decluttered will make a valuable asset to your property. Have a good clear out and add in some sturdy storage solutions to lift as many possessions off the floor as possible. If there is no natural light think about installing lighting solutions such as wall lamps. Battery operated LED strip lights or string lights will make a dramatic difference if there is no direct electricity supply. 

Tidy the garden

Green Retreats

An outdoor space is often high on most buyers’ wish lists, so making sure the garden is tidy and attractive should be a priority when preparing your house for viewings. Even if your garden space is small, mow the lawn, clear leaves, tidy and weed beds, and clean or repaint decked areas. Declutter sheds and summer houses too.  

Create the right aroma

Sophie Allport

Make sure your house smells clean and fresh by removing the bin, any pet food bowls or smelly shoes by the door. Make sure the laundry bin is empty, toilets are clean and the seats are down. Then bring in sweet-smelling fruit for the kitchen, flowers for living areas and scented candles for the bathroom. It is said that the smell of freshly baked bread or roasted coffee aromas can conjure up the cosy feeling of home, too.

Clean kitchen tiles

Walls and Floors

Make it seem like you’ve recently had your bathroom or kitchen tiled by transforming old grout. Water stains, mildew and mould will make the most stylish tile jobs look grubby and old. As well as chemical-based products you can clean tarnished grout with steam or a toothbrush, white vinegar and elbow grease. A grout pen is also a handy tool to brighten stained borders. 

Replace the shower screen

Walls and Floors

The shower screen is an easy update that can instantly transform a bathroom to make it look new. The plastic water seal can become discoloured and mouldy like grout and is budget-friendly to replace. In the same frame, a new shower curtain can also inject a pop of colour and pattern to a plain bathroom. 

Tidy children’s bedrooms


Usually, children’s bedrooms are a treasure trove of toys, colour and fun but when it comes to preparing the space for buyers to view a good clear out is vital. Pack and store away as many toys as possible using clever storage ideas, leaving just a few favourites for interest. Try to remove any toys that are red as this shade stands out in property photographs. Toys stored under the bed should be kept out of sight. 

Clean the windows


Sparkling clean windows can make an impressive transformation. Whether you go for some soapy water or glass cleaner, the spotless finish and increase in natural light flooding into rooms will be invaluable. 

Home stage with greenery


Clinch the deal with an injection of air-purifying houseplants to make your home vibrant and fresh. An aloe vera placed on a sunny windowsill in the kitchen or a lush fiddle-leaf fig tree in a dark hallway corner will add colour and character without being too personal.

Add hotel style to bedrooms

Sophie Allport

Make your bedroom appealing by stealing some style tips from top hotels. Invest in new crisp white or subtle print bedding. Plump up pillows and cushions and layer with a throw to make the room inviting. Buyers may want to look in fitted wardrobes so make sure these are cleared and orderly too!

Update window treatments


Tired curtains and grubby blinds can make a room look dark, dirty and cluttered but without them, windows can look threadbare and unattractive. Wash down roller blinds, dust Venetians and vacuum heavy drapes. As natural light is so valuable it might be time to think about a window dressing refresh before you open up your property; shutters are a neutral investment that prospective buyers can see as a huge asset. 

Use walls to your advantage


Wall art and gallery wall displays can add colour and personality without the need to repaint walls. Stick with just a few frames and choose a consistent theme such as florals or cityscapes. Do not add any family photos, although special to you, buyers do not want reminders of who already lives in their possible future home. Go through the house and remove all family photos where you can. 

Flood with natural light

English Blinds

Ensure your home isn’t too dark. Try to book viewings during daylight hours, open curtains and blinds fully and remove nets if you have them. Privacy blinds should be opened halfway if possible. Keep your house at a comfortable temperature. If it’s too hot or too cold buyers might be quicker to leave and have negative associations.

Make it cosy

English Blinds

If you are selling your property during colder months, make it cosy with lamps, mirrors and soft furnishings. Not only will this make the atmosphere inviting inside the house, but it will also add kerb appeal with a homely glow from outside. Buyers take notice of lighting, so some choice pendant designs can also elevate your interiors.

Add fluffy towels to bathrooms


Classic white bath suite? Instantly improve the look of your bathroom by displaying fresh fluffy towels. Robert Lancaster of Tielle Love Luxury says: “Beautiful white towels are timeless, always look stylish and will match any sort of décor or colour scheme. They’re sure to transport your prospective buyers to their favourite luxury hotel”. Towels should be neatly arranged and folded and chosen to complement the room.

Refresh old sockets

BG Electrical / Amazon

Update old and unfashionable electrical wall and light sockets. Buyers take attention-to-detail seriously and a well-finished property will stand out from others. Connectivity and energy efficiency are big factors for modern buyers so up-to-date sockets with USB points for technology are advantageous. Also, with more people now working from home think about updating your WI-FI service as they may ask about streaming speeds.

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