How a little extra effort in the bedroom could help sell your house

17 May How a little extra effort in the bedroom could help sell your house

It is true. A little extra effort in the bedroom could, in fact, help you sell your house! After years as a real estate and architecture photographer, I’ve literally seen thousands of bedrooms. The ones that were memorable are the ones that looked cosy and inviting, not the ones where a sad doona has been flung over the bed as an after thought.  Think about it this way, the bed is by far the most dominant feature of the space, sans the walls and ceiling, and how the bed looks has a huge impact on the tone, feel and general likeability of the room.  This is why we’d all rather stay at a five star hotel with it’s luxurious and stylish detailing as opposed to a bland budget highway motel.  They effectively both do the same job but one is much, much more appealing…

When I’ve rolled up my sleeves onsite and given a Vendor’s bed a 30 second makeover (not as awkward as you think!), they’ve often been impressed that using the exact same bedding redone in a different way, has transformed the room from utilitarian drudgery to five star glam and a space you can’t wait to tuck into…literally. Not to mention creating a great photo.  I guess it’s this bewilderment in regards to the ‘how to’ of bed making that leads me to think that perhaps the problem is people simply think it will be too hard and too expensive to recreate the look themselves.  The good news it’s not and the photo here is my bed which has been put together on a shoestring with linen on sale, fabric off cuts and factory outlet pillows.  And yes, I make it like this nearly every morning.  Yes, yes, I can see you rolling your eyes now and wondering if I have a life, but seriously, this takes me about 3 mins to do thanks to some simple tricks.

Trick One: The Doona.  Firstly, give the doona a good shake and let if fall back down to the bed in it’s own time.  Then fold the doona in half so it sits at the bottom of the bed.  Or using the top half of the doona, create a “Z” fold that sits in the middle of the bed (like the one pictured).  Using one of these simple tricks will give even the most tired and flat coverlet a puffy and luxurious feel…and that’s the name of the game, you want people to want to jump in!

Trick Two: Pillows. Fair enough, on my bed there are enough pillows to placate even the fussiest of princesses (who me?) and most of them set me back $5 each from factory outlets.  Not all of them are used for sleeping, so who cares if they’re synthetic neck crunchers as long as they look nice? The expensive ones employed for slumber which are flat for comfort rather than style, get a little extra “oomph” when the bed is being made to make them look like their puffy counterparts.  Give ‘em a bit of a punch at each end, then holding two corners of the pillow case, give it a flick towards the ground so the pillow is pushed to the bottom of the case.  The end of the case that is full with pillow now becomes the top that is visible when on the bed.  Then at the bottom of the pillow, simply tuck the excess pillow case fabric under and behind the pillow, out of sight.

Trick Three:  Embellishments.  Right now, your bed is probably looking fairly nice…but why stop there? It’s the little extras that really make a difference.  I have a faux fur throw on my bed that is actually an off-cut from a fabric store down the road. Cost? $15.  This goes to show you can literally use anything as a throw.  Fabric off cuts, blankets…even you’re favourite scarf can be used.  The art of a “casually” thrown throw is to gather one end in your hands (so it sort of looks like a curtain) and while continuing to hold the gather, drape the throw diagonally over a corner of the bed or just below the Z fold mentioned earlier.  Then you can sit a good book or magazine (just not a tabloid!) on the corner of the bed with a nice coffee cup. Complete the look with small glass bottles or jars filled with flowers from your garden on the bedside table and viola!  The luxury of The Ritz for next to nicks.  Sorry, couldn’t resist that pun!

But why limit yourself to the bedroom?  When selling your house, the devil is in the detail and creating these little stylish “stories” throughout your home may not be noticed straight away, but goes a long way in subtly creating an inviting “lifestyle” vibe that people will want for themselves.  So, here are some of my other styling tricks that you can do with everyday items or the stuff long forgotten in the back your cupboards.

  • Gather old bottles and jars (using odd numbers can be helpful) and fill them with simple flowers from the garden or even herbs, like rosemary.  This bunch cost me $3 and two weeks later is still going strong!
  • Open up a coffee table book next to a big vase of foliage from the garden along with a bunch of old paint brushes from your high school art class or an old camera gathering dust in the attic to reinvigorate your dining table or sideboard. The cost of the pictured display?  Free.
  • Bowls of fruit are so cheap and great to use in styling.  The trick here is to use only the one type and colour of fruit in a statement bowl (avoid that old tupperware mixing bowl…although retro is in right now…), sit next to that a fancy cup and saucer picked up from a garage sale or inherited from Nana with fresh herbs and you have a perfect little display to give your kitchen some flair without looking like you’re trying.
  • Outside, place a pile of small plates and a folded tea towel next to the barbie to drive home the joys of the outdoor living lifestyle.  Go one step further and add folded towels and magazines to banana lounges, even a bottle of bubbles and some glasses to tacitly express that your home is like living in a resort…who wouldn’t want that?
  • In the bathroom, fold two towels (keeping any old, frayed ends hidden) next to the bath or on the vanity and place a bar of that fancy soap and matching scented candle you got at your last office Christmas party on top of the pile for a day spa finish.

I could go on and on with more tips and tricks to generate a vibe of stylish luxury for next to nicks, but the point here is to think outside the box a little bit. Have a think about what you like and get adventurous hunting through the cupboards with an open mind for things that could transform your space.  And hey, if you’re ever stuck for inspiration or guidance, just copy what they do in the magazines or furniture store catalogues.  I can guarantee you, they will have “on trend” items proudly displayed as designer in their photos that you have had lurking in a box in the attic from decades ago!

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