Let's play a game. I'll show you some photos. Then you guess what room of the house it is. You know, like bedroom, bathroom, living room, etc. Sound easy? I bet that I can stump you. Are you ready? Let's get started.
1.) What room is this?
2.) What room is this?
3.) What room is this?
4.) What room is this?
5.) What room is this?
6.) What room is this?
Think you know the answers? Well, if you guessed things like office, play room, or game room, then you're wrong. Here are the correct answers. . .
1.) Dining Room
2.) Dining Room
3.) Dining Room
4.) Dining Room
5.) Dining Room
6.) Dining Room
That's right. Each one is a dining room. Are you confused? Well, so were we. Now imagine how a buyer must feel when they walk in to what should be a dining room only to find Kids' Kingdom. It's a bit of a turn-off, huh?
The thing is, designing a home for living is a lot different than designing one for selling. When we work with clients to design environments for them to live and work in, we focus on functionality, personal tastes, and needs. When it's time to sell though, those considerations are secondary at best.
A home on the market needs to be spectacularly simple. It needs to stand out to buyers, not scare them. When a dining room is set up for anything other than dining, it sends a message to buyers that the home lacks space, organization, and functionality.
One of my dearest friends recently turned her dining room into a family hangout and media room. Although I cringed when she asked, I consented to helping with the transformation -- with one condition. I made her promise that when she got ready to sell her home, the room had to return to dining room status. Take a look at what she did . . .
I have to admit, I LOVE what she did in her former dining room. In fact, it is a great example of how and why to change a dining room's function. Before the change, it was unused space. Now it is a functional room gathering place for her house full of boys. But when it comes time to sell, she better wave her magic wand and change it back to something like this: