Disclaimer: This is more of a philosophical post and targeted at home owners mainly. I’d love to hear your opinions.
What do you think? Frivolous or Wise?
So many times, I hear my well-intentioned, sweet friends talk about how they could never decorate as it’d be selfish and they shouldn’t spend money on “things.” I know where they are coming from and truly, charity is a great thing. However, is there also wisdom in making your home look nice, especially if you own. It’s not always frivolous. In fact, it can be done with deliberate intent, on a budget, and as an investment.
I also see staging clients want to do the bare minimum, which is understandable. But, let me walk you through why that may not always be the best plan of attack/best choice.
I talked about how decorating is an art form and an expression of who you are way back when I first started my blog, but this post is different. It’s about how it can be monetarily wise.
Three Reasons Why Decorating Your Home is Wise:
1. Decorating can lessen stress when selling. If you decorate from the beginning, just after you purchase a home, you not only get to enjoy it while you live in it, but you don’t have to stress about getting your home ready for sale at the last minute. Sure you can wait to decorate, but then you aren’t enjoying items while you live there (making the most of your investment), and you are stressing to get it all done in time to put the home on the market. Why do it all at once at the end and have someone else enjoy it?
2. Decorating can reduce the time your home is on the market when selling. I think of decorating as an investment. It simply helps you sell your home. And, yep, 90% of us will eventually sell our homes.
A decorated home simply sells faster. If you don’t decorate your home, there is a much higher chance of your home being on the market longer and costing you more in carrying costs, especially if your circumstances are such that you have already moved.
What many do when selling is “test the market” for a few months to see if they can avoid doing anything to their home and sell for a higher price. The result? All of the potential buyers that see the house during that time rule it out and never come back to see it once it’s truly staged. You lose them. And, in the end, you lower your price more than you wanted.
Now, you may be thinking – we didn’t have to stage/ decorate any of the other properties we sold. There was a time when you could generate multiple offers on the same day your For Sale sign went up. Not now. Buyers are picky and they have a lot of homes to choose from.
3. Decorating Makes a House Feel More Like a Home. Nesting is something we all have a tendency to do, no matter the budget. It makes our house feel like a home. Even from the time we were children, we would set up our bedrooms in a way that made us feel comfortable and at ease. Decorating your home is along the same lines. It has a clear psychological affect and can make you feel like you have that safe haven and a place that makes you smile.
And, if you choose to decorate or stage using a decorator, keep in mind:
1. A decorator can save time and money. I know, that sounds counter-intuitive. However, when making selections for your home, it can be more expensive if you make purchases that are either not worth the cost or won’t last, or you have to keep going back to buy something else to try. If nothing else, a decorator can save you with all those gallons of wrong paint. A decorator offers assistance and direction so time and money are spent wisely.
A decorator can save you time by planning out the space, helping you find the right pieces, and even shopping for you in some cases. Most decorators offer as much help as you need – a one hour consult for a minimal fee all the way to a complete installation.
If selling a home, keep in mind, rarely do staging costs exceed the first price reduction. And that doesn’t even factor in the monthly carrying cost of the home.
2. Decorators think outside the box and give a fresh perspective. We aren’t seeing the space daily and can easily walk in with a unique perspective for the space.
If selling, you may be thinking, we can clean the carpets and de-clutter without someone telling us how. Yes, you can (and should) do this, but it is a tiny piece of staging. Staging encompasses other things like traffic flows, highlighting architectural features, updating, and appealing to your target market.
3. Decorators teach you. A good decorator will be willing to explain things like scale, proportion, color, size, texture, etc. so that you are empowered to do more yourself in the future, should you want to. They also challenge you to consider elements that you may not have chosen otherwise.
4. Decorators help with space planning. Determining the best furniture layout for a space is critical to a space. Sometimes you need fresh eyes and perspective.
I saw a great article recently on the top reasons not to stage your home (sarcasm).
I know I’m focusing a lot on staging, but the idea is to decorate at the beginning, and avoid a lot of staging at the end. It’s much wiser, more cost effective (things can be slowly found on sale), and you get to enjoy it as you live in your home!
If you ask me, it’s wise to decorate your home. HOWEVER, I would never advise going in debt to do so or buying beyond your means. If you have a very small budget, get creative! There are lots of diy projects out there that cost very little.
What do you think? Is decorating wise, mainly an artistic expression, or just frivolous? Where is the line? What about with rentals?