Tag Archives: Kitchen

Home Staging Tips – Appeal to All Five Senses

5senses3

If you want to sell your house quickly, you need to look at it as a commodity rather than your home – a product and a lifestyle to be sold in the open market. You have to essentially become a retailer with a product to sell.

A general rule I follow when preparing a home to impress potential buyers is to satisfy as many senses as I can in each room. Use these tips as a guide to create a special experience during viewings, and keep them in mind when walking through your house.

5senses

#1 Smell

There was a time when it was rare to hear of someone having allergic reactions to typical scents such as perfume, candles, incense and air fresheners, but it has increased to a degree that it is best to avoid having these scents linger in your home during showings and open houses. A scent that will appeal to people with allergies and everyone else in general is the smell of freshness that comes with cleanliness. Just before a showing or open house, wipe all the floors with hot water and a mild cleaning solution.

The smell of cookies or bread baking, or coffee brewing, makes it very obvious that you are working hard to impress. If you feel that it will work for your particular target market, go for it – but for experienced buyers, it will only look like a phony act.

#2 Touch

Buyers respond positively when they touch something that is velvety soft and plush. They cannot resist a blanket strewn over the end of a bed or the back of a chair, luscious bed linen and curtain fabrics, or extra plush white towels. Equally memorable (and not in a positive way) is when they touch something sticky or gooey on a banister, door handle or cabinet pull. This is a big turn-off, so make sure that everything they may touch is clean.

#3 Taste

If possible, leave a candy bowl or cookie jar available for people to help themselves. Leave a small, discreet card of thanks next to it that says something like, “Thank you for stopping by. Please treat yourself.”

#4 Hearing

If you are fortunate enough to have stereo speakers wired throughout your house, play soft background music that caters to your target market. If not, play music in the living room or family room on low volume. Currently, soft jazz seems to be the overall favourite genre but other gentle music works well too.

#5 Sight

Lighting

It is very important to consider lighting when preparing a room for staging. It will improve a potential buyer’s ability to determine whether the space is large enough for their needs, so it is important to illuminate all of the walls. If you cannot see a portion of a room due to a lack of lighting (such as a dark corner), a room may appear or feel smaller than it really is.

Use as much natural light as possible. This may require cutting back the overgrown bushes or pruning a tree around the exterior of the house. If appropriate, remove drapes to open the space and allow more sunlight into the room. If the drapes are in style, of good quality, and positioned so they do not interfere with the window, leave them up but keep them wide open.

Add extra lamps everywhere they look natural. Position a lamp on a table or place a floor lamp next to a chair. Every lamp needs to be anchored by a piece of furniture or it will look awkward and unnatural.

Colour

Colour is a fabulous, versatile tool when preparing a house for sale. It can depersonalize, create a mood, add warmth, attract or distract attention, encourage the direction of the tour, and increase memory. All of this can be done with little money and time. For more on the use of colour on walls, see Home Staging Tips #3: Paint it Right.

The use of vibrant colours can attract attention to a particular highlight of a room, such as a fireplace, custom window or architectural detail. Place a large piece of art above the fireplace that consists of reds, oranges and/or yellows, and it becomes the focal point. Vibrant colour can also be used to distract the eye away from a less desirable aspect of the room, such as an outdated fireplace, by creating a focal point in another area of the room – such as above the couch. Stage the room to display a desirable lifestyle and you’ve just minimized the importance of the fireplace to acquire a certain design or feel in the room.

Whatever vibrant colour you choose to use as your attention-getter, do not use it for any other purpose. Reserve that colour only for attracting (or distracting) attention. The other colours used in a room should be the chosen primary, secondary, and tertiary colours. Repeat a colour in a room at least three times so it does not look like an accident.

Using colour to highlight a special feature in your home will also increase the chances that potential buyers will remember your house over someone else’s. The house will be remembered through reference to the attention getter, for example, “We loved the house with the bold painting above the fireplace. Remember? The room was so inviting and warm.”

Accessories

I firmly believe that hardware is jewelry for the home; for example, cabinet hardware, sink faucets, lighting fixtures and bathroom accessories. Consider what jewelry or accessories can do for a plain black suit. If you want to make a large impact on a room, change or update the room’s “jewelry” and it will shine. Try to keep all your choices similar in metal type; for example, if you choose chrome in the kitchen, use chrome throughout the house with perhaps just one exception.

A popular trend in the bathroom is still the “spa” look and feel. This can be accomplished with chrome, white and glass. Use white for fabrics, such as towels. You could install chrome plumbing fixtures and towel bars, glass cabinet doorknobs and a glass shower enclosure.

- Source : http://www.rew.ca/news/home-staging-tips-4-appeal-to-all-five-senses-1.2089520#sthash.ZrmDiNVF.dpuf

How to Renovate Condo Kitchen on a Budget

saveThe Vancouver condo market is hot and kitchen design is sizzling too! As condo square footage decreases, kitchen space is changing. Condo kitchens today are often more of a culinary wall in the great-room concept, with an island serving as the eating station, and extra storage and work space. With this new trend, condo kitchen renovations will most likely require wall removal, upgrades in appliances, cabinetry, and flooring, and maybe the addition of an island. To keep costs down, keep the following in mind when renovating:

  • Roll up your sleeves and pitch in with the demolition. And, for that matter, you can help with rubbish, recycling and general cleanup too. This can save you upwards of three to five per cent of your overall renovation costs.
  • Existing appliances can be resold or recycled. Check with BC Hydro for appliance rebate programs in your area. If not available, list them for free, and eliminate removal costs.
  • Culinary walls typically feature flush-mounted appliances, adding to the seamless, opening living feel. Tap in to your certified builder or renovator’s contacts. Chances are they will get better deals on appliances, saving you money to upgrade.
  • Re-use existing cabinetry. If cabinets are in good shape, door panels can be replaced or recovered.
  • Cabinet space-saving systems can exponentially increase your existing usable space per square foot, eliminating the need for excessive cabinetry.
  • If you are removing walls, the space will naturally lighten up. Look to under-cabinet lighting to warm up darker corners versus more expensive, recessed overhead lighting.
  • If you don’t have to move the kitchen sink, don’t. It will save you plumbing costs, and potential issues with your strata/bylaws. If however, you are working with a plumber, and have access to include natural gas in your kitchen, this would be a cost-efficient time to upgrade.
  • Open-concept living generally features a single floor covering. Buy in-stock flooring rather than making custom orders. This will save you on both time and money. And, make sure wall removal is complete before installing. Have your plans in place.
  • Countertops often become the statement piece in open plans, with a focal point around the island. You might like to splash out here, given all of the other dollar-saving ideas.
  • Finally, but most importantly, work with a professional contractor/renovator with condominium knowledge. There will be strata rules to consider, city bylaws, and limitations with common walls, supporting walls, and windows, just to name a few.

When buying older units, make sure to do your due diligence: know the bylaws, use a building inspector and most of all, be sure to use a certified builder or renovator, and get the agreement in writing.

Source : http://www.rew.ca/news/how-to-renovate-your-condo-kitchen-on-a-budget-1.2071143#sthash.nexx6JUo.dpuf