Hosting The Perfect Open House
As an ASID interior designer and host of dozens of my own soirees and events, I am often called upon to create the décor for parties and events. During this Spring/Summer real estate selling season, one of the most prominent opportunities that comes to mind is the all important “Open House”. As much of my interior design work is geared toward the real estate industry I wanted to dedicate this column to creative, enticing and affordable ideas for how to “Host The Perfect Open House.”
Creating An Atmosphere
First and foremost, an Open House is an entertaining opportunity and like any other event that one may host in their home, an Open House is an opportunity for the home seller to showcase and make a statement about their own style and taste.
It is important for a home seller at the all important Open House to create a “moment” for a potential buyer the second they walk in the door. The reality is most buyers make a decision about a property within the first three minutes, whether positive or negative, so it is critical that the first impression is strong.
Design ideas for each room of the home
- SMALL BOWL OF APPLES—fruit is not only affordable but creates instant color, other ideas include a bowl of artichokes, lemons or limes.
- TALL VASE WITH STEMS – from a single stem in a tall slim face to a handful of fresh cut flowers, flowers instantly say “welcome” to potential buyers.
- SHORT FLOWERS IN SMALL PITCHERS OR VASES –flowers don’t have to be in traditional vases, you can also place them in decorative water pitchers or apothecary jars.
- AFFORDABLE TOSS PILLOWS – toss pillows are relatively affordable and the right pattern and or color can really add impact to a space. If you want a budget, craft friendly idea, why not make toss pillows from affordable scarves.
CENTERPIECES/ACCENTS (centerpieces for coffee and dining tables as well as accents throughout the home)
- GLASS HURRICANE/CANDLE ON A BIRCH COIN—a simple birch coin can add an instant organic element to your décor and with a simple candle and glass hurricane on top can be an elegant centerpiece for a coffee or dining table.
- CARVED OUT APPLE WITH A TAPER CANDLE- whether it’s an artichoke or apple, carving out fruits and vegetables and inserting a tall taper candle can add instant appeal.
- SUCCULENTS IN MOSS AND SAND – tiny succulents are hearty enough to be around for lots of open houses! Pair them with sand, moss or river rocks in a glass jar or vessel and you have a beautiful accent piece.
- PHOTO COASTERS WITH A PHOTO/THEME OR FLOOR PLAN—imagine how this will appeal to potential buyers! All a home seller needs to do is print their floor plan out on a piece of colored paper and then mount it onto a piece of cork or stiff cardboard in order to create beautiful floor plan coasters.
“Stage your home” for Sale for the Open House
When it comes time to sell your home it is important for home sellers to remember that it is no longer their home, but a product on the market that will be compared to other products. “Staging” is a proven technique in which a home is “styled” and prepared for sale. Here are some of Cathy’s tips for how one can “Stage for the Open House”.
Dining rooms – whether setting the table or using table top items, setting the table can go a long way, as does creating interesting vignettes.
- WINE GLASSES
- DECORATIVE TRAYS
- INTERESTING COASTERS
- CREATIVE CENTERPIECE
I always say to my clients, if you don’t have attractive, appealing, bedding, purchase some! You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but a bedroom, especially a master bedroom should really look and feel like a sensuous retreat.
- BOWL OF FRESH LEMONS OR LIMES
- A CUTTING BOARD WITH A BEAUTIFUL COOKBOOK ON TOP
- FILL BEAUTIFUL TALL CONTAINERS WITH COLORFUL PASTA
Bathrooms—don’t forget the bathrooms! Many potential buyers still buy property based on their impressions of the kitchen and bathrooms.
- USE LOTS OF CANDLES (VERY AFFORDABLE)—candles are affordable and create instant glamour!
- NAPKINS DRESSED WITH A SIMPLE SHELL –if you choose to “stage” the dining area by setting the table, one idea is to place simple shell on the napkin as an elegant touch
- USE ELEGANT TOUCHES LIKE FRAGRANT FRESH DECORATIVE SOAP
Remember an Open House is the perfect opportunity to entertain as well as entice potential buyers.