Whether you are selling, buying, or just enjoying your own home, who doesn’t want a house that is more inviting? There are secrets to what makes a house seem welcoming, but it’s probably not what you think. A home doesn’t have to be perfectly neat and clean – in fact a little character could go a long way, and sometimes that arrives in the form of books spread about or an herb garden that’s in progress. Character is personality! Think about the things you like in people, and you can usually give those qualities to a home.
- Give it Visual Contrast
- Make It smell nice
- Add an object of Interest
- Create a reading nook
- Add a swing or hammock to the backyard
Visual Contrast is interesting because it pulls the eye towards what you would like the viewer to see and away from things that you may not wish for them to dwell on. For instance, a brightly painted wall can pull the eye toward that wall, so that it’s possible that small imperfections in the drywall go unnoticed. Use this technique sparingly, as too much color is overwhelming!
Making a house smell nice can be a challenge if it’s old, musty, or animals or smokers have been inside. A fresh coat of paint on the whole house does wonders, but if you would rather stick to less costly methods, there are many available. Essential oils are popular right now and diffusers are inexpensive, and some of the most popular scents (peppermint and orange!) are relatively cheap. Place a diffuser in a prominent space. Make sure to place an opened box of baking soda in the refrigerator – it absorbs food odors nicely, just make sure to change it once a month. Burn candles sparingly, as they can overpower many people. Wash a load of laundry with some great-smelling fabric softener right before your house is shown, and bake something easy but delicious, like refrigerated cinnamon buns.
Add an object of interest to a central area of the home. This could be an old painting, a vase from another country filled with fresh flowers, or even a classic book placed on the coffee table. These pieces give the buyer a feeling of familiarity and cause them to form a good association with your house. Make sure you keep politics and religion out of these items – you never know the interests of the buyer who is coming. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a religious artifact in your home, but overwhelming amounts may be off-putting to a buyer.
Creating a reading nook is simple and inexpensive. All you need is a nice corner of a room in your home, a comfortable chair, a plush throw, a small table and a lamp. If this area is by a window and has lots of natural light, all the better! Make sure to place several books on the table – preferably neutral books about gardening, history or such. This gives the buyer an image in their mind of what they could do with such a reading nook! If you have children, be sure to include a few childrens’ books as well.
If you have a medium to large tree, you can place a swing in your backyard. There are many on the market now including cloth swings that envelop the swinger. Some swings are Rastafarian themed which gives your yard an interesting appeal. Just make sure the branch you hang it from it sturdy and strong! If you have two trees, you can tie an inexpensive hammock between the two. You can also place several all-weather pillows in the hammock to give it more appeal. This is not only great for the buyer to see – it’s a relaxing place for you to unwind as you navigate the process of selling your home!
Of course, these are just a few suggestions. Many more things can make your house inviting – especially warm, soft lighting, making sure the temperature in the house is neither too warm or too cold, fresh flowers and hand-crafted soap in the bathroom, fresh throw pillows on the bed, charming hooks to hang children’s bookbags and jackets – the list is endless. Remember that the impression of your home starts as soon as the buyer sees your house, so take a critical look from the outside as you pull into your driveway. Are there weeds that need pulled? Cracked shutters? Small repairs and simple clean up can add a lot of warmth to a home because it shows the seller the home is cared for. If there’s space beside your door, get a plant stand and a large potted fern, which will thrive in the Florida sunshine with a little water.
Making your home an inviting place is fun and easy, and may catch the right buyer’s eye!
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