The way you design, decorate, or even stage your investment property, can either attract a buyer or dissuade them from a purchase. As real estate investors, you are bombarded with everything, literally. You have so many balls up in the air, as you catch them, finish placing that ball, you catch the next and so on. What ball has design or decorating on it? When does that ball fall, and do you catch it, or let it drop?
Let’s start at the very basics and flush out what the difference is in interior decorating versus interior design. Because, for me, I always kind of thought they were the same until I took a college elective class for my degree minor. The class happened to be a basic interior design class.
Interior Design, what is it?
Interior design is the process or art of designing the interior of a room or building. Basically, the layout of what the space will look like such as walls, cabinet placement and so on. Sounds simple enough, right? For some it can be, for others, not so much. Having an eye for visually imaging a space is a must have. I know of both men and women who cannot visualize what a room would look like until after it is completed, whether it is simply rearranging the furniture or painting the room. Unfortunately, trying to learn this skill can be a bit difficult.
For those who cannot just see it, there is software on the market today that can help with laying out a space or rearranging a room. They work better than the imagination, even for those who are able to visualize the finished product. But for those who struggle with visualization, the software would do wonders and perhaps save a few bucks on a designer.
I came across a program called RoomSketcher. There are two options, one is to register for a free online account and the other gets you started right away. I chose the option to get started. The interface is intuitive and I could easily spend hours creating spaces, placing furniture, changing house layouts and even choose paint colors. It will also generate a 3-D image of the space you created.
On the website Top Ten Reviews, they took the liberty of rating The Best Interior Design Software of 2017. They have their own rating system and everything you need to compare these paid for software programs to include what type of help or support each software package includes. Their Gold Award goes to Home Designer Interiors 2015. When you click on the picture, it explains why they chose this $79 program as their top choice.
Interior Decorating, what is it?
Interior decorating is the act of decorating the inside space of a home, office, public space, etc. To beautifully decorate an interior, you will need someone who understands concepts such as the lighting of the space, yearly decorating, long-term trends, paint, textures even flooring. All of those items and more, must pull a room together, creating a visual harmony.
There are SO many resources online for you to obtain information and draw inspiration from. I came across this wonderful short infographic called Interior Design 101. In short blocks, it reviews the fundamentals of interior design, visual weight of a room, creating harmony and unity with color themes and much more.
HGTV is another excellent source for all things decorating. They offer many tips and tricks for designing modern, elegant spaces. In this list of blogs, they discuss more than just interior decorating; they offer advice on flooring focal points, molding and trim as well as painting the home’s ceiling and ways to dress up walls using colors.
If you are truly unsure of choices or color pairings, while in the home improvement store just ask someone in either the paint department or the decorating department. You could even ask a stranger who might also be perusing the 100s of paint colors what they think. Someone who is removed from your vision can give you a clear perspective.
At last resort, hire a decorator. If money is an issue, you can always check at your local design schools to see if they have anyone wanting to get experience. Perhaps a student needs a project space, you might be able to let them decorate a bathroom, kitchen or other room. Students are usually already low on funds so make sure to offer a little something for them. I know while I was taking my design elective, the students were always looking for places to perfect their craft.
Decorating isn’t Just for Women!
I remember Abhi Golhar saying in one of his podcasts, there is a reason he only wears white shirts to which he added, colors aren’t his thing and has a decorator he uses for all his properties. Some people struggle with putting colors, prints and textures together to create a full cohesive room. But it really isn’t all that scary. And just because you are not a female doesn’t mean you cannot decorate. If you pick out a colored wardrobe on any given day, you can handle picking out tile to match the countertops or an accent color to show off the cabinets.
You have already accomplished SO much in real estate investing. If you have the time, give it a try! Create that space to help sell or rent your property. Not only will you feel satisfied and feel a smidge of adrenaline from buying and selling, you will see the property in a whole new way. A property you helped to become someone’s home.