Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home

Cottage Home Budget Makeover

Cottage Home Budget Makeover

Sam and Amy owned a cottage home in Edgewater, (a quaint community just west of Denver) recently discovered by young families who want to be close to the Highlands without the associated price tag.

Although Sam and Amy loved their little house, what they really wanted was a home in the country. And they were willing to live with relatives for a while so they could save some money.

Amy, an artist, thrives on color and painted every room in their home a different one. The living room was lemon yellow, the kitchen was peacock blue and the bedroom had a scarlet accent wall. It was charming, and perfect for them. But would buyers love it or be put off by that much color?

To make it more marketable, we needed to tone it down and paint the walls a neutral shade. Amy and Sam were motivated to get the highest price they could for their cottage home, so they bought the paint and went to work.

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Staging Details

  • Walls were painted Sherwin Williams Lightweight Beige.
  • Love seat and chair switched places to put the largest piece on the biggest wall, the one that's visible when you first enter the room (see why in arranging furniture).
  • A lot of extra stuff was moved out, including the TV. If you want to sell a small home make it feel big!
  • Now the buyer can see what they're buying, a seemingly spacious room with pretty windows and gleaming wood floors.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Staging Details

  • Walls (which were previously peacock blue) were primed and painted SW Lightweight Beige like the rest of the house.
  • All extra kitchen stuff was packed.
  • Two small plants show off the cute shelves.
  • Red placemat and terracotta pitcher continue the red accent color and provide interest in this small kitchen.

Office Before

Office After

Staging Details

  • To help the buyer see the possibilities in this tiny space, they had to do some serious packing.
  • Only the computer and a few items are left on the desk.
  • Book shelf is artfully arranged.
  • One red candle provides the accent color.

Bedroom Before

Bedroom After

Staging Details

  • The wall behind the bed (which was previously scarlet) was primed and also painted SW Lightweight Beige.
  • A large framed mirror stands in as a headboard.
  • Small end table becomes a night stand.
  • Lamp with a red shade pops a little accent.
  • Red throw pillows and blanket folded at the foot of the bed add a little accent color.

The Outcome?

Sold in under one month (at a profit) in spite of the difficult economy in the Spring of 2010 before the housing market turned around!

Sam and Amy were on a budget and couldn't afford to spend a lot of money staging their cottage home. And, they didn't have to:

  • Fresh neutral paint provided the backdrop.
  • Cleaning, sorting and packing opened up the space.
  • Artful arrangement of things they already owned did the rest.

Sam and Amy are now happily house-sitting and saving their money for that dream home in the country.

Do you need ideas on how to get more money for your home? Review Staging - Essential Steps for a Quick and Profitable Home Sale.

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Alex Hinst is the author of Home Decorating and Staging and owner of Alex Hinst Designs, located in Denver's Historic Highlands.

Alex Hinst Designs has hundreds of success stories in both private and investor home renovations and is dedicated to helping you create your perfect home.