Often in a consultation I’ll be talking to a client and mention a rather bold aspect of their home such as lighting, wall color, or furniture style and it’s as if they’ve never seen the piece before. I’ll be honest, sometimes I can’t help but chuckle a bit on the inside. I’m amazed at bold items that some people get used to seeing every day and forget that they're even there. We get so used to seeing our home through our own eyes that we don’t always see it as a visitor would and I’m completely guilty of this too!
My husband and I recently listed our home for sale. It was a home that would work perfect for a family with a large kitchen, several bedrooms, finished basement and great yard. We decorated as we liked and lived in the space as we always would even though its just the two of us. Upon selling I did a few updates such as painting a rather bold paint color back to a neutral, tweaking some décor that was used in the space and also taking a spare bedroom that I’d turned into an office space and turned back to look like a bedroom. I just knew I’d thought of everything.
The professional listing photos were taken, and they were beautiful. It looked like a beautiful, pristine, well designed home. Problem is…no one was interested! We double checked the price, we discussed with the realtor what the issue was. Then one day over breakfast we were looking at photos online of the home wondering what was going on! There were literally NO showings. Then while clicking through photos suddenly it dawned on me. Our lifestyle is not that of a family with children. My husband’s a little “type A” and loves a spotless home, our overall aesthetic is pretty clean lined with a touch of rustic industrial, and the main piece of furniture that you saw upon entry was a wine cabinet. The pillows on the sofa were beautiful, but they didn’t read as “cozy up to watch cartoons”. Even the upstairs bonus room was filled with business books and my raku pottery collection. Probably not the place a parent would feel great with their kids running around while they’re trying to decide to buy it.
I just knew, that while the home looked great and worked for our lifestyle and even to someone else with a similar lifestyle, I just wasn’t seeing the home through the perspective of EVERYONE. While the professional photos were beautiful, it wasn't possible to understand the comfortable feeling once you walked in. The people searching online were just seeing the pictures of a home that may not appeal to them and then not getting the chance to really experience the space. I took the time to go through each photo to see how the space was being viewed through the eyes of potential buyers and it was very eye opening. Many changes to the space occurred as I tweaked even more items to appeal to a growing family.
It is so easy to think you’re on the right track only to be surprised (I like I was). I’ve began to use photos more in almost every consultation. I’ll ask the client to look at the photos they sent me and we go through them together. So often people will be surprised and see items they forgot were even there!
Looking to make some shifts in the energy of your home but aren’t sure where to start? Take some photos! Maybe even head to a coffee shop to go through them so you can see them outside of your space. This will really help you get a different perspective.