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Dressing your home...

Ideas to help sell your home...

1. Make an entrance.

You know the saying: You never have a second chance to make a first impression.
"The outside of your home is the first thing guests see," And like it or not, it speaks volumes about what’s inside -- and about its owner. A clean front door, new hardware (or a good clean and polish of the existing knocker, lockset, porch light, house numbers, and letterbox), a fresh doormat and a trio of seasonal potted plants by the door wiill dramatically improve your home’s entry and make visitors feel welcome.

2. Dirty word - clutter....

Admit it: You have too much stuff. "The most important thing most people can do to improve their home is to clear out, clean up, and get rid of clutter,"

Be ruthless, If you haven’t used it in three months, box it up and store it away; if you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it. And make a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave.

Sound daunting? Take it one room at a time. If your bookshelves are bursting at the seams, for instance, "clear them off and just start organising them and storing others. It’s okay to have empty space around your books and knickknacks." Inexpensive baskets make great hiding places for unsightly paperbacks, and add texture and visual interest. Books stacked vertically serve as pedestals to show off prized pottery or other objects d’art.

It’s time to get creative about storage and organization. Think about getting some handy rolling bins designed to slip under a bed and hide everything from household supplies to kids’ toys. And if you can’t get rid of it and can’t hide it, flaunt it with style: "Places like IKEA sell colourful and inexpensive fabric, cardboard, or melamine magazine holders. Lined up on a shelf, they look a lot cleaner than stacks of magazines everywhere and add a unified visual element to the room,"

3. Make "less is more" your new phrase...

Don’t forget that a cluttered look can also come from too much furniture. "People tend to line their walls with furniture, one piece after another,"
Take a good long honest look at what you have and ask yourself what you can live without. "You really only need two pieces of furniture per wall: If you don’t use it regularly, get rid of it.

4. Reposition furniture.

If your sofas are clinging to your walls, you’re not alone. It’s a typical decorating mistake, "There’s a common belief that rooms will feel larger and be easier to use if all the furniture is pushed up against the walls, but it’s simply not true,"

Instead, furnish your space: Float furniture away from walls, reposition it into cozy conversational groups, and place pieces so that the traffic flow in the room is obvious. In most cases, this means keeping the perimeters clear. "When you place furniture in a room, envision a figure-eight or the letter H in the middle, with clear pathways around it," Not only will this make the space more user-friendly, it will open up the room and make it seem larger.

If you’re nervous about doing something that can seem a bit radical, "Try an area rug on an angle first, then move the sofa and see how it looks. But just try it," If the new arrangement doesn’t strike your fancy, you can always put things back the way they were. But chances are, you won’t want to.

5. Window Tips

If windows are narrow, extend curtain rods a foot or so on each side to suggest width. If your ceilings are low, hang rods at the ceiling line and consider window treatments with vertical stripes to create the illusion of height.

6. Make a splash with colour.

"Painting is the cheapest, easiest way to give your home a new look,". Even if you've always had off-white walls, take a chance and try out some paint in a warm, neutral hue. You can always paint over it if you don’t like the colour. These days, neutral goes beyond beige to include a range of colors from warm tans and honeys to soft blue-greens.

Even deeper colors, are enjoying a come back, "Don’t shy away from dark colours in a dining room, or bedroom, a deep tone on the walls can make the space more intimate, dramatic, and cozy.

How to start choosing a colour? With a pillow, piece of fabric, or piece of art that has a colour in it you love, the background colour is often great for walls, and you can pull out the other colours (in the piece) for accents around the room."

You could also try painting an accent wall to draw attention to a dramatic fireplace or a lovely set of windows. Either paint the wall a contrasting colour, such as a rich red flanked by taupe walls, or a more intense version of the paint used in the rest of the room, like a deep butterscotch that will play off soft camel walls. If you have built-in bookcases or niches, experiment with painting the insides a color that will make them pop — a soft sage green to set off the white pottery displayed within, perhaps.

If you’re too timid to whip out the paintbrushes, add punch with richly coloured accessories, pillows, and throws,

7. Pictures - let them do the talking

Do you hang your pictures / art in a high line circling each room. That's a big mistake. Placing pictures, paintings and prints in such stereotypical spots can make them invisible. "Art displayed creatively makes the art stand out more and shows off your space"

So break up that line of art. Vary the patterning and grouping by:

- hanging a row of art diagonally, with each piece staggered a bit higher or lower than the next. This is great for directing the eye toward an architectural feature like a window or arched doorway.
triangularly -- with one picture above, one below, and one beside -- a nice accent.
- in a vertical line (perfect for accentuating a high ceiling).
- Hang pictures on different planes so that your eye goes up and down as it travels around the room -- it creates interest on your walls

8. Accessorise...

Now that you have your furniture placed, your rooms dappled with colour and your art/photos/pictures hung, it’s time to layer in accessories for the finishing touch. When it comes to eye-pleasing accessorising, three is the magic number -- though one and five work well, too. And rather than setting your trio of accessories out in a row, imagine a triangle and place one object at each point.

Scale is important, too, so in your group of three be sure to vary items by height and width, with the largest at the back and the smallest in front. On a side table, for instance, you might have a lamp, a plant or flower arrangement, and a book or a small box. For impact, group accessories by colour, shape, texture, or some other unifying element.

 

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