Previously, we thought our house and garden were the best they could be, and were definitely ready to sell. But, they weren’t. We weren’t looking at our house through the eyes of a buyer. We were looking at it through our eyes, and of course, we thought it was the most beautiful house on the market, because it’s ours. We live in it full and we invest a lot into it. But, now starting to look at properties ourselves, we’re seeing things differently. When we look at properties, initially online, rightly or wrongly, we tend to reject any immediately, which are so stamped with the current owners, that to change to our style would take too long and would incur costs we wouldn’t really want to incur.
The ones we save and go back to, time and time again, are the ones we really see ourselves in, immediately. The ones which are immediately beautiful, but also are more neutral. Less cluttered. Easier to imagine what we could do to put our mark on them. And so both inside and out, this is what we’ve been doing with out house. Without stripping it of our identity completely, we’ve pared it back, especially inside. Hopefully, taken the overwhelming “us” out of it, and provided a background which potential new owners can really start to visualise themselves in. So, what have we done to prepare our home to be listed?
- The Hague Blue Farrow & Ball kitchen walls are now a soft pale grey, complementing the concrete style kitchen units;
- The dark feature wall in the living room is now a very soft pale blue;
- Lots of our accessories have been put away into storage, creating a feeling of space. A de-clutter is very cathartic;
- Cushions on the two sofas have been reduced in number and the same pale grey linen cushions now cover them all – no different shades/patterns/textures;
- Rugs in the living room have been laid now downstairs in The Snug – much better as this floor is concrete (albeit painted) – and the rugs soften it. In the living room we now have all jute rugs – neutral and calming.
- In the Well Room, the concrete table, with its resin finish, has been sanded back and painted in a white satin finish;
- The dark Hague Blue floor has gone, and it’s now white. The dark blue rugs have joined the living room rugs in The Snug, and more jute rugs have been laid in this room;
- The exposed well chamber, covered in safety glass, which we loved but felt could perhaps be an initial shock for others, has now been covered in a lovely round creamy/vanilla faux sheepskin, with tall, structural plants in hessian baskets, sitting on top;
- All internal woodwork – window frames, doors, door frames – are being painted white. The soft blue, which we have loved, was beginning to look like it needed a refresh, and wasn’t really working for us anymore. It’s proving to be a long job, changing the colour of the woodwork, but the results are speaking for themselves;
- Both sets of stairs were painted dark blue – these are now both white, as is the floor of the upstairs landing;
- The bedroom floor of the main bedroom and the bathroom floor are white now – we’ve got rid of the blue;
- In the main bedroom, we had beautiful faux vines wrapped around the beams. Again, we’ve loved these, BUT we realised that they were actually distracting from the height of the room – it has a huge, soaring apex ceiling – and also covering up the beautiful beams, which have been painted in a very soft, pale grey;
- All bedrooms have been de-cluttered – nothing feels impersonal, we still feel that these rooms are ours, they just feel more breathable;
- The Snug has been reconfigured and a utility area now housed much more effectively behind dark velvet curtains – the perfect place for these, as they had become too dark to be hung elsewhere;
It seems like an awful lot that we’ve done – and, it is! – but we think it’s work that is absolutely necessary. Not only do we have a “new” house emerging, to live in and enjoy whilst we’re still here, but we think it definitely is going to be more appealing to people who are in the market for a holiday home. (Some of the photos below were taken before the work had finished – further paint coats have been applied where necessary etc…)
We certainly feel that our home now has more of a light and airy feel, and we’re delighted with the rooms are being transformed. As we work inside, the work continues to the rear of the house as our new wall is constructed. Today is quite a monumental day, as the render is being applied – and we are crossing everything that another builder comes this week, with his digger, so that the different levels can be formed for our zoned garden.
So, we may seem a bit mad, doing all of this work when the house is ultimately going to go on the market and a new owner may change everything, anyway. But selling this house, is not like selling houses we’ve sold before. This house will sell to a particular kind of person at a particular time of year – and we have to do everything we can to achieve the outcome we want. Crossing our fingers, we get there…