Interior designers can walk into any home and within 30 seconds, they “know” ways to make that house look better.

Here are some designing clues to help your waiting-for-the-new-year clients develop their own designing sensibilities so they are more able to see themselves living as best as possible inside the house they want to buy or sell …

1. The very first thing a designer sees when she/he walks into a house is how the rooms are lit. Why? Lighting = ambiance, atmosphere, vibes, quality. Lighting sets the tone of the house and how you feel being inside it. Even with tons of natural light, lighting is enhanced with a variety of light sources such as sconces, hanging fixtures, recessed lighting, etc.
2. Room layout is the next big indicator. Why? Room layout = function and flow inside each room and into other rooms. Even when the structure and function of the layout are “right,” poorly aligned doors or oddly placed overhead lights can detract from the room’s effectiveness and comfort-ability. 3. Woodwork on the walls such as trim, crowns, millwork, and casings, help establish the look and foundation of the room. Make sure that everything on the walls is well proportioned.
4. The arrangement of any visible wall shelving as in a library tells a story. If books are stacked one on top of another on that shelving, everyone, not just designers, knows the books are for show and that no one is reading them. Arrange hard backs so they are easily accessible.
5. Does the space feel like home? Are there flowers/plants in the entry, on accessible tables, subtly placed in bedrooms/bathrooms?
6. The more pillows and throws on the couches the better. They add to the warmth of the home as well as the feel that people actually do and can live in the space.
7. Some designers prefer uncluttered, minimally styled interiors and others prefer lots of little items that narrate stories of the people who live in the house. Whatever the preference, enhance the overall design of the home with or without accessories that are consistent with that design. A Victorian house is better suited to small knick-knacks than a sleek, contemporary home.
8. Who actually lives in the house? Does the house offer clues in terms of family size, interests, what they like to do?
9. How does the house smell? Is the owner trying to hide something by “covering up” an odor (mold? cat litter?) with a too strong room freshener? Does the wonderful aroma of a freshly baked pie fill the air?

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