By our Realtor and style expert Margaret (Maggie) Sieczkowski
Who doesn’t want to live in a home like the ones featured on the glossy pages of those fabulous lifestyle magazines? Well, it actually isn’t as difficult as it looks. While working for more than 20 years as a stylist for a national shelter magazine, I created those spaces for people everywhere to view. But I also showed the homeowners how to recreate the looks for themselves. Here, in what I hope to be the first of many blogs, I want to share with you some tips that — with a little time, a small budget and some personal creative flair — can help you create an inviting living space that appeals to either potential buyers or turns the house you just purchased into the home of your dreams!
1. Paint — I know, people think, “Big deal, what difference can some paint make?” Well, it can completely transform a room. It can brighten it up, make it appear larger or smaller and it can even set a mood. For a minimal investment and an afternoon of work, you can totally change the way a space looks and feels.
2. Clutter — Get rid of it. Period. It doesn’t matter if your home is Modern, Country, Victorian or Traditional, the best way for everyone to appreciate your space and style is if they can see it. Clutter is distracting. Instead, take your favorite pieces and place them thoughtfully around the room. Remove the rest. You’ll be glad you did.
3. Oversized Artwork — Instead of several small paintings or photos hanging on every wall of the house, nothing says “BAM” like one oversized piece of interesting art. It can be an enlarged snapshot or a beautiful watercolor, whatever suits you. It adds to the sophistication of any home and, as an added bonus, can spark some conversation.
4. Display Collectibles — Over the years, you have probably spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on dishes, teapots, glasses, vases and the like. So why not show them off? Displayed neatly, collectibles can be appreciated while still being easily accessible. This also frees up cabinet space and keeps them from being overstuffed.
5. Large Floor Mirrors — One of my personal favorite design objects is an oversized mirror. It can add light and sparkle to any space, no matter the size. Also, it is so versatile that it can work well in any area of the house.
6. Make the Bedroom a Sanctuary — Believe it or not, the bedroom is often overlooked in many houses. Making a bedroom comfortable and indulgent can actually affect how you feel about your overall home. Beautiful linens, lots of comfy pillows, soothing lighting and maybe some flowers is all it takes to bring serenity to the next level.
7. Double Duty Furniture — Take all those books, magazines, games, and extra blankets scattered around the family room and turn them into one major design statement. Use an old armoire to neatly store these essential and leave the doors open. Not only will they look good, but they’ll still be available at a moment’s notice.
Trying even one or two of these tips can make such a difference in the way you live. It takes a lot of hard work to attain the dream of owning your very own home. Keeping that home neat and beautiful only adds to its value and preserves the investment for years to come.
Margaret (Maggie) Sieczkowski