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How to Captivate Home Buyers by Capturing a Hotel Vibe

To get that hotel vibe, focus on these areas of your home.

When it comes time to sell your home, you need to keep one thing in mind: buyers don’t want to see or feel you in the house. What we mean is that buyers are looking for a blank slate that they can envision making their very own. They don’t want your family pictures, unique style, or lived-in look. Instead, they want a house that represents endless opportunities.

How do you make this happen? How do you get YOU out of the house when staging a home for sale?

Think about giving your home a hotel vibe. It’s one of the most successful open house ideas because it’s all about making your home into anyone’s house.

Staging your home so that it feels like a hotel will help you sell it faster and for more money. But what does this look like? Your real estate agent will be able to give you expert advice on how to achieve this.

To ensure you have that hotel vibe, you’ll need to go through your home room-by-room and focus on a few key areas.

Make a Glamorous Entrance

The entrance of your home is your one and only chance to make a great first impression, so you’ll want to make your entrance look and feel like a hotel lobby. If you have room, consider adding an elegant table with artfully arranged flowers. You’ll also want to keep it clear of clutter to ensure that it creates a welcoming feeling.

Create Plush and Lush Bedrooms

Bedrooms are typically the most personal rooms in a home, and so, for an open house, they should be depersonalized as much as possible. Remove all personal items from dressers and nightstands. It’s even a good idea to half empty your closet so that it looks neat, clean, and larger than normal.

In addition to cleaning up, you’ll also want to transform your bedroom with plush bedding that’s reminiscent of a hotel room. Think white linens with throw pillows and crisp lines. It should feel like a hotel room from the moment they walk in the door.

Clean Up the Bathrooms

Just as with the bedrooms, the bathrooms should sparkle and shine. You don’t want potential buyers to walk into your bathroom and think anything other than, “This looks wonderful.”

When staging your home for sale, your bathrooms should look brand new. This means emptying out cabinets and drawers of any toiletries and miscellaneous items. You should also allow a small budget for repainting, changing out old fixtures, and resurfacing countertops.

As for the towels and décor, only use brand new items that are perfectly spotless and would look appropriate in a hotel. Every bathroom should feel like an oasis.

Focus on the Kitchen

All successful open house ideas start in the kitchen. That’s because a kitchen, if done beautifully, can get you more than your asking price while an ignored kitchen can kill a sale just as quickly.

The good news is that updating your kitchen doesn’t require a complete remodel. Small changes can make a big difference. To get started:

  • Remove clutter from countertops until they’re completely clear.
  • Clean all appliances and replace old, worn out equipment.
  • Clear all dishes and keep them neatly stacked out of sight.
  • Organize every single drawer, removing extra items.
  • Empty out the pantry and fridge until only a few food staples remain in neat rows.

Clean and de-clutter your kitchen until it wouldn’t look out of place on a food show. Only then are you ready for an open house.

Tips and Tricks for Overall Décor

What about the rest of your house? There are quite a few things you can do to create that hotel vibe everywhere.

Bring in Light: Maximize the light throughout your home by removing drapes, cleaning windows, changing lampshades, and increasing bulb wattage.

Choose the Right Colors: Don’t slather your walls and furniture with bright, bold colors. Instead, follow the examples of upscale hotels with neutral palettes of warm gray, taupe, brown, and even black.

Create More Space: Add large mirrors and use appropriately proportioned furniture to create the illusion of more space in tight quarters.

Don’t Forget the Exterior: Don’t forget the outside of your home. Transform your back deck into a cozy outdoor living area, and make sure your front yard leaves a good first impression with a spruced-up yard, fresh exterior paint, and pops of color.

You don’t need a big budget or a brand-new home to create one that feels and looks like a hotel. All you need is a little bit of know-how and some elbow grease and anything is possible. Find a Coldwell Banker real estate agent near you today.

Sharon is the Manager of Product and Content Marketing for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC. She lives in New Jersey and holds a BA from Syracuse University. She loves pun-ny jokes, true crime documentaries, podcasts and she can watch adorable videos of puppies and babies all day!

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Before & After: A Seaside English Garden by Farlam & Chandler

 Allium varieties include A. nigrum, ‘Mount Everest’, and A. atropurpureum.

A garden in crisis greeted designers Harriet Farlam and Ben Chandler of Farlam & Chandlerin 2016. Dingy concrete paving slabs and a completely overgrown garden set a sad tone in the long, narrow space in the heart of the English harbor town of Whitstable, Kent.

“Unnecessary low brick walls enclosed borders planted with two tall bay trees, which were still in their plastic pots, their roots bursting out,” Farlam says. “The bay trees were growing up through two mature fig trees, and everything was smothered in Virginia creeper.”

The plan: “We lived with the garden as it was for a year, through all of the seasons, without touching it too much at all, apart from the immediate removal of the cherry tree,” she says. “This enabled us to really understand the light and how we would use and utilize the small space.”

The result: The courtyard was sited about a quarter mile away from the sea and was relatively protected from sea salt and wind. “Once we had an understanding of how the garden should function, we were able to create a plan for the garden, with the actual layout and bones of the garden very simplistic,” she says.

Photography courtesy of Farlam & Chandler.

Now a small breakfast terrace is at the rear of the house, and a floating deck allows the house “to breathe as it should,” Farlam says.
Above: Now a small breakfast terrace is at the rear of the house, and a floating deck allows the house “to breathe as it should,” Farlam says.

A sunken boardwalk made of English oak leads out from the breakfast terrace, journeying through “intense planted long borders” beneath the fig trees. “The path was inspired by a public footpath along the beach in Whitstable. Instead of traditionally floating a boardwalk above planting, we decided to sink our oak path, to create interest in the garden by changing levels but also to provide an increased sense of privacy. We made the path fairly narrow (just wide enough for a wheelbarrow), to encourage you to stop and pause to look and interact with the plants on route to the dining terrace,” Farlam says.

 Allium varieties include A. nigrum, ‘Mount Everest’, and A. atropurpureum.
Above: Allium varieties include A. nigrum, ‘Mount Everest’, and A. atropurpureum.

“The true character of the garden is formed with the layering of plants, which were selected to define the individual character of each area, but still be harmonious when journeying through the garden, the ‘journey’ being a very important aspect of the space,” Farlam says.

Foxgloves against a backdrop of Briza grasses.
Above: Foxgloves against a backdrop of Briza grasses.

Although the courtyard is buffered from sea salt and wind, a lot of the plants Farlam and Chandler chose (including lavender, rosemary, thyme, alliums, geraniums, angelica, iris, asters, fennel, and Erigeron) are salt tolerant. The fig trees provided the inspiration to use a lot of edible and medicinal plants, such as crabapple trees, valerian, angelica, and herbs.

Geranium pratense ‘Cloud Nine’.
Above: Geranium pratense ‘Cloud Nine’.

Before

“Despite how unloved the garden had first appeared, it still had a sense of magic and areas of privacy, which we wanted to retain as much as possible in the new layout of the garden,” says Farlam.
Above: “Despite how unloved the garden had first appeared, it still had a sense of magic and areas of privacy, which we wanted to retain as much as possible in the new layout of the garden,” says Farlam.

“The boundaries were completely overgrown with variegated ivy, making the garden feel very narrow and oppressive,” she says.

Concrete pavers held moisture, making the adjacent house feel damp and dingy.
Above: Concrete pavers held moisture, making the adjacent house feel damp and dingy.

After

 Two “characterful” fig trees frame the view of the simple dining terrace, which is reached via the sunken oak boardwalk through long borders either side,” Farlam says.
Above: Two “characterful” fig trees frame the view of the simple dining terrace, which is reached via the sunken oak boardwalk through long borders either side,” Farlam says.

Visible on either side of the dining terrace are the trunks of pleached crabapple trees, planted in the crushed shell surface. (The surface is a bespoke mix of crushed cockle shells with limestone chips and dust.) The crabapple trees provide both privacy and vertical interest.

“It was astonishing how many birds we had in the garden, we also didn’t want our new design to impact or discourage any wildlife. The existing fig trees were integral to this concept and we carefully cleared the shrubbery and trees around them to reveal them and allow them to act as focal points in the space,” Farlam says. “We stripped the boundaries of the ivy and painted the fences black, inspired by the fisherman huts on the beach, which immediately made the garden feel much bigger and the colors of the new planting pop against the dark backdrop.”

 Lavenders create loose sculptural balls in the gravel.
Above: Lavenders create loose sculptural balls in the gravel.

“The intensity of planting disperses as you pass beneath the two sculptural fig trees into a calm, refined palette of plants in the dining terrace, a simple rectangular space with centrally positioned table and chairs,” says Farlam.

The outdoor dining table and chair are by Danish design house Hay. For more, see Outdoor Furniture: Metal Lawn Chairs Made Modern.
Above: The outdoor dining table and chair are by Danish design house Hay. For more, see Outdoor Furniture: Metal Lawn Chairs Made Modern.
Cleft chestnut posts screen the rear area of the garden and the back gate from view from the dining terrace. Simple cold frames made from old sash windows create a utility area behind the screening. A potting bench and log store, with simple cold frames made from old sash windows, create a utility area behind the screening. A simple metal bench (also by Hay) is positioned to catch the last of the evening sun at the end of the garden.
Above: Cleft chestnut posts screen the rear area of the garden and the back gate from view from the dining terrace. Simple cold frames made from old sash windows create a utility area behind the screening. A potting bench and log store, with simple cold frames made from old sash windows, create a utility area behind the screening. A simple metal bench (also by Hay) is positioned to catch the last of the evening sun at the end of the garden.

The border in front of this screening is planted with less restraint than closer to the house, says Farlam: Thalictrum, purple fennel, eryngium, crambe, and poppies create “a riot of color and texture, loosely reflecting the plant palette found on the beach.”

If you’re looking for more inspiration to design a small or narrow garden, start with our curated guides to Garden Design 101 for suggestions for Decks & PatiosPavers, and Perennials and Annuals. See more of our favorite Before & After projects:

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Most Important Summer Home Maintenance Projects

Being proactive when it comes to your home’s maintenance can save you time and money! Focus on maintaining these 5 areas.

With the bright sunlight and warm temperatures that accompany summer, you may be spending more time outside — and you may be noticing areas of your home’s exterior that need repair. But there’s more reason to tackle your home maintenance projects this summer than simply cosmetic appearance. Maintaining your home will prevent major leaks and damage that may eventually require professional help, usually when its most expensive and inconvenient for you.

Being proactive when it comes to your home’s maintenance can save you time and money, and it makes sense to do it when you’re more likely to be outdoors in the comfortable summer months. Here are five areas of your house that are most important to keep updated.

  1. Windows

    Start by cleaning the exterior of your windows with hot soapy water and a sponge or squeegee. If you’ll need a ladder, make sure to review safety guidelines.

    While you’re washing, inspect each window pane for cracks. Double or triple glazed windows with damaged seals or cracks may need to be replaced. Think back: Have your windows had excessive condensation inside through the winter and spring? That’s another sign that the seal might have been compromised and that your window might need to be replaced.

    You’ll also want to inspect caulking and weatherstripping around your windows. Recaulk any spots where the caulk is loose or chipping away, or consider applying new caulk for a tight seal. Summer is a perfect time to do this because the warm temperatures and low humidity will help the caulk set perfectly.

    Finally, wash window screens and replace any screens that have rips or holes.

    1. Roof

     

    Visually inspect your roof every summer for missing or broken shingles, shakes and panels. Again, if you’ll be using a ladder and climbing up to your roof, make sure you follow safety guidelines. If you have any concerns about using a ladder or moving around on your roof, or if you’re unsteady on your feet, call your roofing company. Most roofers will make inspections and do basic maintenance for you.

    While you’re up on your roof, you’ll also want to check flashing and seals around vents, chimneys and skylights. Apply caulk around any areas that haven’t been re-sealed in the past year.

    Algae and moss can plague even new and well-maintained roofs. Apply a moss killer designed for roofs or install zinc strips that can help keep algae and moss from taking hold.

    Your gutters should be cleaned and checked for holes or other damage. Look for water stains around your gutters and downspouts that indicate a problem.

    1. Exterior

     

    Check high and low over your exterior and look for holes, gaps and cracks in your siding. It’s less expensive to replace siding that is just starting to deteriorate than to wait until it’s broken down completely and impacted your home’s structure, insulation and inside walls.

    While you’re walking around your home, look for any signs of pests. Termites and carpenter ants can be devastating to your home’s structure, while ants and wasps can be a nuisance and cause minor damage to your home’s exterior. Check vents and crawl-space access doors to make sure rodents and other wildlife can’t get in.

    1. Foundation

     

    Check your foundation for any cracks and signs that there has been a leak, such as water stains. Any small cracks can be repaired, but larger cracks should be inspected by a pro. Once you repair small cracks, re-seal the foundation with a good waterproof masonry sealer.

    Pull out any larger plants growing close to your home that might impact the foundation. Besides the risks of roots growing into your foundation, watering plants close to your home can cause water to pool around the foundation and lead to damage.

    1. Heating and Cooling

     

    You’re going to want to make sure your air conditioning is ready for the heat ahead, so replace filters and remove and clean your unit’s fan and condenser. Make sure you turn off power to the unit before you tackle any work.

    At the same time, your furnace should be checked and readied for use again at summer’s end. Vacuum out the burner and blower cavities, and vacuum and brush the blower blades. Change the filter so the furnace is all ready to go when it’s time to turn it on again.

    Your home is a big investment, and it’s important to keep it in good “health.” Spend some of your summer days inspecting and making minor repairs and you’ll reduce your chances of needing a big repair later.


    Chelsea McGrath is an Editor at HomeAdvisor with a love for all things home, health, sports and nature.

    Victoria Keichinger is the Senior Manager, Brand Marketing for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. When she’s not nurturing a culture of storytelling at work, she finds herself most at home in Jersey City, NJ with her pre-school crush turned spouse. A true francophile, she loves to travel and will go anywhere there are ski slopes.

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