Some warm house designs leave buyers cold


Michele Lerner – correspondent

September 14, 2021 11:04 AM

Just like fashion, interior design trends come in and out of style. Sometimes what was in fashion a year ago already seems outdated or overdone. For home sellers, the goal is to make their homes universally attractive to buyers, which could mean eliminating home features that were once fashionable.

Design trends that could deter buyers

Some recent interior design styles, such as white-on-white kitchens, flap doors, and barn doors, may appeal to some buyers, but for many they lack appeal.

“Shiplap, by which I mean the manufactured lumber you buy in big box stores, is losing popularity,” said Harry koffman, interior designer at Decorist in Andover. “But the planks or planks you discover in an older house you renovated make a wonderful statement appropriate for the time.”

Likewise, barn doors should be specific to the period and design of the house, Koffman said.

Wallpaper has made a comeback in recent years and more homeowners have turned away from all-white, matte walls, but sellers need to be careful with color.

“Having different colors of paint or wallpaper in each room has always been a waste to potential buyers,” said Kara solito, interior designer at Decorist in Boston. “Wallpaper and wall color are incredibly personal choices, and potential buyers will see this as extra work to update or remove. “

One of the biggest issues that can put buyers off, said Lisa Tharp, director of Lisa Tharp Design in Boston, has the color gone wrong.

“It’s important to use a consistent, flowing color palette throughout the house,” Tharp said.

That doesn’t mean you have to stick to white walls though.

“I think people realize that a chill out space doesn’t necessarily mean all white,” Koffman said. “Our spaces can breathe more than calm to be appreciated and can be fun and energizing without being shocking and while still retaining sophistication. “

Koffman recommended painting the walls in a matte finish and the trim in a satin finish in the same color or slightly lighter or darker.

Faux wood panels can be another negative feature for buyers, but Koffman suggested this could be topped with paint, accessories, and artwork.

Tharp also points to overly rustic and distressed finishes as a trend that is past its prime and could leave buyers cold.

While all-white kitchens provide a classic look, Solito said, colorful kitchens have stamina.

“Blue and green cabinets have become very popular for kitchens,” Solito said. “This seems to intrigue buyers, as the all-white kitchen is going out of style. Painting your kitchen cabinets is a relatively painless upgrade that can add resale value. Blue and green can basically be considered neutral at this point. ”

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Other once-trendy items Koffman suggests removing from a home before putting it up for sale include oversized bathroom vanities and oversized window treatments.

“Don’t shrink your potentially already small bathroom with a vanity that barely fits so you can have maximum storage,” Koffman said. “Go with a larger medicine cabinet or open shelves, but be sure to display the items thoughtfully to show how the shelves can be used. “

Pick the right scale, color, and texture for window treatments when selling, Koffman suggested.

“Don’t barricade yourself inside your house, let in the light,” he said. “It will make your space feel like it can breathe. “

Timeless but current design trends

Interior designers believe that there are design trends that can make your home more attractive to buyers, including tailoring formal rooms such as a dining room to use for work, school, or play.

“The flexible floor plans that can open or close at will reflect the current needs of our society,” Tharp said. “For example, pocket doors can connect adjacent rooms or separate them for acoustic and visual privacy, providing the ability to work from home or isolate spaces when friends and family are visiting.”

One trend that Koffman says will have lasting appeal is the use of natural materials.

“It feels good to have strong materials in the house that are sustainably sourced and lack synthetic additives,” Koffman said. “Natural materials offer something unique to look at that feels like a thoughtful investment. Over time, some natural materials will change color and wear beautifully. ”

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