It’s a crazy, fast-paced, market that is experiencing unprecedented demand and very low inventory. In this hot, hot, real estate market, it seems that almost any home will sell. That may be true to a certain point, but some homes are not selling as fast as others. Even when all the right design delights to inspire buyers are in place for a very quick sale, for some reason certain homes are sitting a little longer than they should, with lots of showings and no initial offers coming out of the gates.

                    In analyzing these outliers, I have found they often have one thing in common: they’re boring. They aren’t making an impression so compelling that buyers can’t walk away without making an offer. Yes, these homes may also have flaws, but flaws aren’t always deal killers. Professional staging has been used for decades as a combative for flaws that might otherwise have been blaring in a vacant property. So, flaws in and of themselves can be countered. But, boring – boring is hard to overcome, especially in this digital age where pervasive visual stimulus is a part of our daily life. Buyers want to be delighted with details that thrill and provide
the design-enhanced look they see every day on television and on social media.


Here are a few ideas to fight against boring and bring some cost-effective design delights:

Add a Fun Front Door Color

             Curb appeal is important to any home sale. Buyers want to be comforted as they drive up to a property that it is well-maintained and attractive. It’s the opening act of the home tour. If it is possible for the front door to be freshly painted, that’s a bonus! And fun front door colors add interest, drama, and a powerful punch that can make a statement and a memory point.

Here are some colors I like, but ask a staging or design professional to make sure the color you select is perfect for your property.

  • Sherwin Williams Ravishing Coral
  • Sherwin Williams Cooled Blue
  • Sherwin Williams Berry Cream


Update the Kitchen Backsplash

              The kitchen is perhaps the most important room in the home to many buyers. This is where they will be spending a large part of their time. It goes without saying that as they tour a home, they are likely imagining what it will be like to prepare meals and eat in the kitchen. Adding a kitchen backsplash (if one does not exist) or changing a dated one, can have a powerful impact on a buyer’s impression of this most crucial room. Overall, the costs to install a backsplash can be minimal when compared to replacing cabinetry and appliances. It can provide a fresh, updated look that can make all the difference in a kitchen. If you’re struggling with what backsplash would be best, most tile stores offer design assistance to help you make a great selection.


Lighting Changes

                 Just like jewelry provides the finishing touch to an outfit, on-trend lighting provides a sophisticated touch. Builder-grade or dated lighting makes a home boring, stale, and sometimes downright ugly. Lighting can literally make or break the impression of a home, even online. Since the majority of buyers right now are millennials, don’t be afraid of modern lighting choices even in a more traditional home. It’s what these millennial buyers want to see. One of my favorite sources for lighting is

They have great selections for any price point, fast delivery, and a great website for narrowing choices.


Add an Impact Wall Color

                In my experience as a professional home stager, painting is nearly always recommended for at least a few rooms in the home. Paint easily becomes worn and a fresh coat of neutral paint can ease a buyer’s mind that it is one less thing that would have to be done upon move-in. However, adding to these neutral walls a statement wall color in one room of the home may again appeal to the trendy millennial buyer who sees this as a cool design detail. Painting one wall in a room is far easier than painting an entire room. One of my favorite colors for an accent wall is Sherwin-Williams Sea Serpent. It’s a strong, dark navy blue that plays well with lots of neutrals.

               While in this market, most homes are selling quickly, making a few design changes like those mentioned here, could make the difference between a home selling in a few weeks to selling in days or even hours. Buyers today are savvy and are looking for a home that provides visual delight and distinct details that separate it from its competition, leaving a great impression and inspiring an offer.


Blog post from:

Lorelie Brown, M.A., CPRES, CID is the Owner of Showhomes Charleston in Charleston