With the economic downturn (yes, we're still talking about that. Sigh...), it has become harder than ever to sell your home. Gone are the days of popping bread in the oven and placing a well known designer labelled liquid soap on the bathroom sink to ensure you get the best price possible. It's time to pull out the big guns and get creative. And who better to provide you with some top tips on how to make your home so enticing that a stranger will love it enough to pay top dollar, than top designer Tricia Guild?
Tricia Guild's £50 million-a-year global empire grew from humble beginnings: a small shop on the King's Road in London back in 1970. This is a woman who knows business, knows how to sell and knows interiors. And here are her top ten tips:
1. Be bold: Tricia Guild's designs are known for their larger-than-life patterns and bold, vibrant colours so it perhaps comes as no surprise that this tip tops the list. But I think she makes a valid point: who really wants an impersonal, beige home? Through your personality and design choices you will give your home an identity and style which can only enhance the look of it.
2. Camouflage defects: Accept your home's weaknesses and find solutions that work for them. If you have low ceilings, long low-level furniture will make the most of the height available to you. Along the same lines, if the rooms are small, choosing furniture you can see through, like wire, perspex or glass will open the room up.
3. Rein in those rafters: If you have big solid beams, painting the ceiling between the beams in a soft pink will soften and warm the look.
4. Don't be ageist: Modern interiors benefit from the odd antique just as a modern piece or two in a period interior will give it an individual edge. This rule goes for colour choices too!
5. Get inspired: Inspiration can come from so many sources - museums, theatre, even the outdoors. See what others are doing and take from it the bits you like.
6. Give your hall a chance: Transform them from a practical walkway to a space of their own, with colour and personality.
7. Avoid clichés: Predictable furniture choices and interior decor, like the black leather sofa in a loft, lacks personality and means your property will not stand out.
8. Take the indoors outdoors: Use any outdoor space to create more indoor space, weather permitting! According to Tricia, you can erect a simple metal frame and hang lengths of linen fabric to create an extra cozy and intimate area.
9. Bring the outdoors in: Reflect the garden by introducing details that mimic the outdoors like leafy wallpapers and green and yellow colours in rooms that overlook the outdoors.
10. Dare to discard: If there is a piece of furniture you don't like, get rid of it. There's no point working on making your home beautiful if you have to do it around a piece that you don't like. Of course, if it's a sofa or chair you could also give it a facelift with a new slipcover*.
You may well find at the end of it all that you are the one in love with your home. And, maybe that's just what you needed... Good luck!
Credit: The Daily Telegraph Property, May 16, 2001