When I design a room; when I stage a home for sale; when I renovate part of a home to make it more
usable or attractive, I ask myself this question.
“What makes this place special?”
The purpose of a home, by its most basic nature, is to shelter humans. But if we left it simply at that, we could occupy caves. So a home takes its meaning from something beyond simple shelter. A home also involves sheltering life styles, sensibilities, and presenting a vision to the world of who we are. Those are pretty impressive requirements. Just as we put on attractive clothing and brush our hair before going out, a home has to establish that all is well in our lives to the people who visit. And that the home is a place of peace and comfort to all who enter.
I’m called in to help with the esthetic vision of home. Whether it’s a room to be redone for additional comfort, a space that needs to become a defining statement of who we are or a home to be made ready for the real estate market, I use the same approach. I ask myself, “What is this place about? What makes it special?”
Recently a contractor with whom I worked on the addition of a master suite and porch to an existing home (see the previous post below), walked into a home in Anchorage to help the owner. The home had been on the market through two listing periods for close to $1 million and had not sold. The owner wanted the contractor's help making the home more marketable. The contractor sensed there was a problem beyond just “paint up/fix up.” He called me. “You need to come take a look at this. You can help here.”
At the invitation of the seller, I visited the home and walked quietly through it. It was a home with wonderful spaces in a desirable neighborhood. But it wasn’t selling. Then it occurred to me. The house didn’t look like one that was worth almost $1,000,000! It was dated. It was not set up to help buyers imagine how they could love to live there.
So, what did I do?
I began by replacing all the original gold-plated hardware. Hinges, door handles, cabinet pulls, kitchen faucets, bathroom fixtures. Everything! I put in new light fixtures and moved furniture so it fit the spaces. I recommended the owner rent new furnishings where they were necessary. I wanted light and harmony.
It worked! The home was transformed.
So what happened? The home went back on the market. And, with the help of a very connected Realtor….this time, it sold in three days!
See the pictures (Click to "Download Making a home look like a million dollars")