Decorating & Selling Your Condo

By: Andy Asbury

If you are planning to sell your condo and are dreading getting it ready for the market - relax! It couldn't be easier than it is now! More than ever before, the vogue in interior decorating is favoring simplicity.

Every room can be painted white or cream or beige with silver gray or dark beige detailing. The use of this color scheme will let your prospective buyer know that your place has been decorated very recently.

This type of decor is perfect for a condo, as it automatically adds spaciousness to a fairly compact area. In order to prolong the spacious feel, do not change the color of the paintwork from the dining area to the living area or hallway. Paint all open areas in the same tone, unless you have a narrow wall that you wish to use as an accent.

Only change the color, if you want to, when you reach a room that is totally separate, e.g., the bathroom or bedrooms. If you do change it, you should still opt for the neutral white, cream or gray natural shades as color is strictly passe at the moment.

Experts recommend that any pictures you put on the walls should be in frames that actually match the paintwork, which is a new concept. In order not to break up the uninterrupted flow of the paint color, it is suggested that drapes or blinds are also in the same color.

The type of drapes that lend themselves best to this new look are the gossamer sheer voiles; with blinds at the same window you can keep the sheers open and be assured of complete privacy.

A paint job is not very expensive, but it can make a very large difference to the appearance of your condo. What of your floors? Are they carpet or are they wooden or tile flooring? Is the color of them one of the shades that will tone with the gray or beige detailing?

If you have a bright floor and you feel that to change the floor is too extravagant and labor intensive, think of buying a large rug. Think of this before you pick the color scheme because it is usually easier to buy a rug in cream than in gray. A large off white area rug will go a long way toward the simple look that you are aiming for.

However, if your floor will tone with the decor, resist the urge to throw a small area rug under the coffee table. An uninterrupted expanse of floor space will increase the feeling of roominess.

One of the acknowledged problems of condo living is the lack of storage space. First time condo buyers who want to move a three bedroomed house into your one bedroomed condo will be checking to see if your place looks spacious. You do not want to emphasize the perceived lack of storage by having a load of your own clutter lying about.

If you have not already rented one, then I thoroughly recommend that you rent a storage unit now. It will also help you to move. Use it wisely and pack all your best ornaments and china up in boxes and cart them off to storage.(The more ornaments you pack away the better - think 'clear spaces'!) Pack up all your out-of-season clothes and shoes and all your sports gear that is unseasonal and cart that load off to the storage.

Already your condo is looking very spacious! How about all the photos, baby's first pair of shoes and the kids' grade 3 painting of Grandma? What else can you do without until you unpack it in your new home?

If you have a balcony and you keep a few things stored on it - think of moving them into storage. However, if you have summer rattan furniture packed away then get it out now and arrange it on your balcony. Try to keep the furniture to each side, so that you can still look out the screen doors and see the view.

Buy some tall palms if you have none, and put one each side of the patio doors on the balcony. It looks very effective if you stand the same size plants inside your patio doors as well, in exactly the same position.

If you have a narrow wall, and can afford a wall to wall mirror, it really does enlarge your room! It also reflects extra sunlight, so choose a wall that catches the sun, if you can. If you do decide to go with this idea, do not place a large piece of furniture right in front of it.

Sometimes a narrow wall encloses the front entrance, in which case a small console is adequate space to drop your keys and bag. It is functional to keep the front entrance as roomy as possible as you may often be welcoming four people at one time, especially when selling.

If you are moving into a different condo, here are some tips for you to consider: buy two-seater love seats as no-one ever sits in the middle of a three seater anyway; buy an old sea chest to convert into a coffee table (loads of storage inside!); buy a car locker to attach to the wall of your parking spot for lots of extra safe storage.

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