Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Overcoming Oversaturation

Wow! It's been a while since I've posted -- we've been really busy. The upside though is that I have lots of Before & After photos to share with you.

I'd like to start with one of my favorite transformations of the year. I'm fond of it for many reasons. First, the client trusted us and she worked super hard to execute our suggestions. Secondly, the results illustrate concepts that we preach to sellers all the time: 1.) Keep it neutral, 2.) Turn up the light, 3.)Clear surfaces & declutter, and 4.) Use fewer, but bigger accessories. Mostly, I love this project because it sold really quickly.

By far, the biggest change we got the owner to make in this project was painting. I wish I could convince every client to paint when they need to, but so many dig their heels in and let dark, saturated colors turn off buyer after buyer. Fortunately, this client was able to detach from her preference for bright, desert colors and offer buyers a soothing neutral color palette. Take a look . . .

The very first room we saw upon entering the home was the dining room. It was an alarmingly bright, saturated yellow-orange color -- hard not to notice it. The color was so strong that it caused the furniture and art to appear dark and red; almost muddy looking. It was just an unflattering color choice. We feared that buyers would see this right off the bat and make one of two choices. Either they would mark the home off their list of possibilities entirely -- OR -- they would see the room as a big project and start deducting from their offer. With twelve other rooms still to see, we couldn't have buyers lowering their offers at the front door. It was essential to neutralize the color.
We suggested the homeowner neutralize the interior with Sherwin Williams' Ramie paint color (SW 6156). Ramie is a really dynamic color. It is neutral, yet it is constantly changing. In the bright light, it is soft and soothing, but in the evening it becomes a deeper, more dramatic tone. Plus, it works well with most any wood, metal, or art choice.
We also had the owner paint the wainscoting in a traditional, all-white treatment. In doing so, the room actually seems larger . . . and buyers LOVE large spaces. Cha-ching!
In the family room we found similar issues -- saturated wall color and low light. We also saw an abundance of little accessories, photos, and gigantic furniture. At no time did we notice the spaciousness of the room. We were so distracted by the stuff in the room, that we couldn't see its potential.
Like in the dining, we asked the owner to paint in the soft Ramie color. Then we removed the photos, leaving only one grouping above the sofa. We moved the furniture just a few inches, and actually added LARGER end tables. Then we accessorized with large/chunky accessories, green plants, and lighter pillows. What a difference. The room looks larger, warmer, and coordinated.
In the master suite, we again found dark oranges and low light. A coat of Ramie paint, new pillows, and a little art swap brought the room in balance; offering buyers a peaceful retreat.

The master bath was also in need of a cohesive color scheme.
We started by having the owner bring the Ramie paint on into the bath; eliminating the multi-colored walls. Then we asked her to replace the zebra print shower curtain with a pair of light-colored curtain panels (hung as close to the ceiling as possible). In the baths, white/light colored linens help to achieve a fresh, clean, spa-like look, so the dark rug was removed and loads of white rolled towels (not pictured) were added. Even the art's magnolia blossom helped to incorporated the soft white scheme.
The uber-saturated color trend continued on the second floor of the home. In the massive upper-master bedroom, the walls were painted in one of the deepest purples I've ever seen. It may be perfect for a teen suite, but when trying to appeal to a wide range of buyers, maybe it's not such a great choice.
To appease buyers AND the teens who live there, we suggested lightening the look with a soft lilac. Then we highlighted the spaciousness of the room by simplifying the art & bedding, and improving the lighting with a new, very feminine, acrylic lamp.
If you're planning to sell your home, or if it just feels as though you're living in perpetual chaos, try softening your wall colors. A simple, cohesive paint scheme will help give your home continuity and simplicity.
If you'd like a color consultation for your home, send me an email (bradford(dot)house(at)comcast(dot)net) and we'll put you on the schedule today!

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