Whether you are getting ready to list and stage your home, or you’ve moved into the home of your dreams, keeping an idea on proportion and placement of items in your home will result in good interior design.
Starting with hanging artwork or design pieces on the walls of your home, the basic rule of thumb is to keep artwork at eye level, just as museums do. If most members of your household are on the short side, hang art so the midpoint is about 57 inches from the floor. Or, in rooms with ceilings higher than 8 feet, hang any artwork a bit higher than 60 inches from the floor from the midpoint of the art. The exceptions here are if you are hanging your artwork over a headboard or a sofa. In these situations, make sure the bottom of the frame is 8 to 10 inches above the piece of furniture. This ensures the artwork is visually connected to the furniture and not free-floating above it. Finally, if the artwork is very large (taller than 10 feet), disregard the midpoint rule and just position the bottom edge of the piece at least a foot from the floor.
Area rugs are another component in interior design where placement and proportion are particularly useful. In the living room, if you have placed your furniture against the walls, you can either pick a rug size that will allow your sofa and side chairs to rest half on the rug and half off of it, or you can choose a smaller rug where no seating touches it. If your living area is larger than average, you’re better off with an area rug that’s large enough to have every piece of furniture fully placed on it. In the bedroom, your aim is to make sure you are stepping onto a rug from the bed. Therefore, you can position your area rug under the bed so that it peeks out two to three feet on either side and at the foot, without the nightstands resting on the rug. (A good guideline to follow is 8 by 10 feet for a queen bed and 9 by 12 feet for a king). Alternatively, consider placing a runner or smaller 3 by 5 foot rug on each side of the bed.
Finally, the placement of lighting is a critical component of good interior design. For pendant lights over a kitchen island, or a chandelier over a dining room table, for example, aim to hang these lights so the bottom hangs 30 to 34 inches from the table surface. With regard to floor and table lamps, ensure the bottom edge of the lampshade is at eye level or just above when you are seated. For a lamp on a nightstand, make sure the bottom of the shade is at chin level when you are seated in bed. Finally, with sconces, the placement between them is the critical component. For hallway sconces, position them 8 to 10 feet apart, and for bathroom mirror sconces, position them 36 to 40 inches apart, to ensure an even display of light.
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The widespread use of the Internet in real estate home sales nowadays begs the question, Why do you need a realtor if the Internet shows you all of the homes for sale? There are three major reasons why using a realtor to look for and buy your home will serve you better than going the DIY route. First, while the wealth of property listings on the Internet may seem like you can find your dream home on your own, an experienced real estate agent has access to even more listings that are available on sites such as Trulia and Zillow. While these sites do have many listings, they can, and often do, fall behind in real-time listing status updates. A professional listing search on MLS (multiple listing service) will reveal homes with a “coming soon” status that realtors are only able to discover. Clients who are working with a realtor can act quickly when these homes do go live.
A realtor is also experienced in geographical areas, and can recommend areas you may not have otherwise considered. A realtor can analyze your criteria and can point you in directions that may work better for you in the long run. Moreover, a realtor has an extensive professional network of other agents and can access their knowledge about certain areas, thereby sharing this insider information with you as a buyer.
Finally, a knowledgeable realtor will be well-versed in the comparables (or “comps”) in your targeted neighborhoods. These comps are not easy to access for non-realtors. Certain upgrades or features may not be a better buy for your money, necessarily, and a realtor can help you to analyze the listing price in conjunction with the prices of other homes in the market. Finally, once you are in the home of your dreams, your realtor is an invaluable resource to help you determine which upgrades you should make to the home with an eye to a higher resale value down the line. I look forward to working with you in your home search.
First impressions matter. Curb appeal is the initial advertisement of the home for potential buyers. After viewing your home on the Internet, potential buyers will then drive by your home. If the exterior of your home isn’t well-kept, your home showing may turn into a drive-by, with those potential buyers not wanting to bother stepping inside your front door.
Taking a few simple steps to update and maintain your home’s exterior will invite potential home buyers to come closer to check out all that your home has to offer. First, take a closer look at your front yard’s landscaping. Nothing says deferred maintenance like a desert landscape riddled with weeds and overgrown trees. Pruning and trimming all trees and shrubs will allow potential buyers to actually see your home, and will also demonstrate that the current homeowners care about their property, which is a good sign. Placing fresh flowers or desert plants in pots near your walkway or front door is also another quick and inexpensive step to freshen up your home’s exterior and landscape.
Power-washing your driveway, walkway and front entry way are other inexpensive steps that will pay off with a big impact when showcasing your home’s exterior. While you are at it, be sure that your windows sparkle in the Arizona sun, so buyers looking out to the front yard can appreciate and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
In terms of staging your home, if you’re lucky enough to have a patio area or large entry way, place a chair or two here, to showcase a conversation area to your potential buyers as they are walking into your home. Moreover, the decluttering and simplifying rule that applies to the interior of your home also applies to the exterior and landscaping, so be sure to remove any yard or lawn art from your front yard and entry way. Keeping the door clean of decorations is another way to showcase the architecture and beauty of your home without providing unnecessary distractions.
As your realtor, I can give you more specific advice unique to your home and situation to help you maximize your home’s potential in these areas.