When it comes to choosing the décor of your home, matching the potential buyer’s style with the period of your property is imperative. Here are four of our favourite styles to give your home a touch of added value, without having to spend a fortune to achieve it.
One of the most popular styles is Scandinavian décor, which embraces light and simplicity to elevate the look of your property with minimal effort. It is a great suit for coastal homes and modern city apartments, rather than periodic, Victorian properties.
There are many ways you can achieve this look at home on a budget. Painting walls clean and using neutral colours with grey or blue tones is a great place to start.
While white works well and is often the most cost-effective option, if you’re looking for something a little different then a few of my personal favourites are Farrow and Ball’s Blackened paint and Rock Salt or Polished Pebble by Dulux.
You can offset these slightly darker walls with white woodwork and update dark furniture cheaply by painting it a light colour. Annie Sloan chalk paints are great for this and can be painted straight over furniture without the need for sanding.
If you’re painting laminate furniture, a cheap primer can help to give a polished finish and is usually available at a low cost from retailers like Wilko. Mixing natural woods with painted furniture always creates a nice Scandinavian effect, creating a contrast that is sure to impress.
Another way to achieve this look is by updating bed linen with white bedspreads; IKEA stocks an amazing range that is perfect for this. Linen-style throws for sofas and chairs can also update living spaces at a low cost.
When adding those all-important finishing touches, natural textured rugs, fabrics and simplistic plants like plain grasses all work great to create a calm, relaxing space.
Wall art is another vital addition to cover blank wall spaces. Use black and white art in black frames to add a monochromatic effect to otherwise neutral décor. Hang either one or two big pieces or create a gallery wall to achieve this style.
Farmhouse décor often ranges from vintage to modern eras and can be easily created by searching charity shops and second-hand furniture stores for older pieces that have natural finishes, in particular wood and leather. These pieces should be paired with walls in a light, creamy palette, such as Dulux’s Timeless or Natural Hessian.
However, when selling your property, it’s always best to stick with white woodwork to appeal to the majority of buyers. Don’t be afraid of mixing materials and textures with metals, leather, wood and stone to create a farmhouse look.
Linens, faux fur and velvet work well and you can subtly incorporate country patterns like checks or stripes to add another dimension to the look.
When it comes to styling, try to incorporate vintage pieces – which can easily be sourced from local charity shops – as they will make for wonderful complementing accessories. Glassware and vintage ceramics look great on shelves in this style.
Finally, aesthetically-pleasing coffee table books make the perfect addition in a sitting room alongside a pretty tray with a bottle of wine and cut crystal glasses. Again, charity shops are perfect for finding these.
This style is about making a statement and coupling drama with elegance. It is very easy to take it too far if not done with restraint. Be very careful to make sure you’re using this in the right setting and don’t take the more sinister side of gothic too seriously. If you are going to use it, make sure your house has rooms that are big enough with high ceilings to carry it off.
Choosing the right colour when creating a gothic style is important. I recommend a strong blue, such as Farrow and Ball’s Stiffkey Blue, or greens like Dulux’s Fresh Sage or Buckingham, which can work well.
Once you’ve chosen your strong colour, expand this to cushions, throws and artwork throughout the main rooms for a cohesive feel.
A top tip when using dark colours on the walls is to keep a sense of light and space by hanging huge mirrors in elaborate frames. If you’re feeling unsure about taking the plunge and re-decorating, a great way to create this look is by using dramatic print rugs or over-sized art pieces.
Another fantastic way to achieve a gothic feel is to incorporate rich fabrics like velvets and faux fur, satin and silk. An easy way to do this is to buy fabric remnants and re-cover your old cushions to give the room a quick update.
When it comes to accessories, chunky candlesticks in silver or gold are a go-to. Use a big collection with chunky candles to create a gothic style in a dining room.
To quickly update a sitting room, look out for wrought iron and over-sized lamps. Elegant chandeliers are also a staple for this style. There are many variations available on the high street that you don’t have to spend a fortune on.
A minimalist style is a great option for big open-plan apartments or new build homes. You must be careful with this style though to ensure that it feels simple and elegant, as opposed to cold and sterile.
For a minimalist style, the main colour tends to be white and the treatment of floors and windows is kept as simple as possible.
Wooden or poured concrete surfaces are also a feature. Try replacing kitchen worktops with oak blocks or concrete-style laminate. Alternatively, apply this principle to your flooring.
In general, an easy way to create this style is by removing art and accessories from the space. Focus on one simple piece of art or matching accessories with strong, clean lines.
Storage is also key for this look, so make sure your property has plenty available if you want to create this style ahead of a sale. It may be necessary to rent storage off-site to achieve this minimalism.
The inside of cupboards need to be styled simply too. It is no good having a calm, elegant feel to the main rooms if a viewer opens a door and everything falls out of the cupboard.
When creating a minimalist style, it’s important to think about lighting. Create ambience in your rooms with great lighting rather than objects. A simple pendant hanging over a coffee table next to an elegant chair is a classic minimalist vignette.
Finding the best fit
If you’re looking to attract young professional couples to your home, it is more likely that they will be attracted to the Scandinavian or minimalist style rather than something more eclectic such as farmhouse décor.
Finally, it is important to remember to only use your chosen style if your furniture already matches what you are trying to achieve. It could be expensive to change your furniture too drastically ahead of a sale.