Monday, February 28, 2011 12:42 PM EDT
After recently moving into a house with my boyfriend, I'm putting my beloved first home on the market. After two weeks of fixing, cleaning, painting and staging, my condo is sparkly and ready for sale. Just in time for the last day of Makeover Month, I have before and after photos to share.
When I bought the condo in 2007, it looked like this. It was pretty open-concept with a solarium, open galley kitchen and large bathroom.
But really, when you don't have a bedroom, what do you need a glass box for? So I had the solarium ripped out and added an Ikea Expedit shelf for privacy and separation between my living room and bedroom. It also provided a little extra storage.
Besides a coat of white paint and the obvious addition of furniture, I didn't do much else to update the space — something I regret now that I see how gorgeous it could have been. But I was an inexperienced decorator, the space was small and any extra money we had was being put away for a new house.
This is what the condo looks like now and I hope that potential buyers/the new owner will be inspired by the space and maybe take some decorating ideas from it.
I had a general idea of what I wanted it to look like: clean, relaxing and totally uncluttered and I struggled with how to separate the space for what feels like months. We considered building a wall, using drapery and hanging a giant barn door but ultimately decided to stick with what worked and bought a shiny new shelf. No damage done to the floor, ceilings or walls and no major decisions made for future owners.
But the shelf is about all I can take credit for. My boyfriend Jon made the hardware store his second home. Among about a hundred other things, he replaced the plumbing, installed a new microwave range hood, touched up the paint, added new lights and made the floors shine. (Oh, I picked out some pretty nickel pulls for the kitchen cupboards.
We were also lucky that our real estate agent Deb Dorsey has a passion for decorating and staging. She brought some much needed serenity to the space with pale blues, greys and pops of colour in the artwork. We created a sweet dining area (above) with a robin's egg blue bistro table and sparkly chandelier.
The bathroom is definitely a selling feature. For a condo this size, the bathroom is huge. And with the new shower, sink and faucet, it just looks so updated and fresh.
All in all, I'm thrilled with the results and am taking some tips home with me. In the past, I've passed up rugs to show off a nice wood floor. I realize now how homey and comfy a rug can make a room. This is embarassing for someone who works at HGTV, but I'm giving more thought to colour. In the past, I've just purchased things I like and put them together in a room thinking that they'd all just match. Now I'm thinking more along the lines of colour schemes and themes.
I'm also trying to banish clutter as much as I can. I did a lot of purging when I packed and am still giving lots of consideration to my belongings, where they should go and which ones are really better in the trash or a second-hand store.
So what do you think? How would you have laid out the space?