A while back my husband and I decided to move to our favorite vacation destination in the mountains. But in order to make this dream of ours happen we had to sell our city home. We put our house on the market and started to make plans to move as quickly as possible.
Sadly, things did not go as we hoped. Our house didn’t sell and according to our realtor the problem was our kitchen. It didn’t match the exterior of our house. Our house was a Cape Cod style with rock around the front door and dormers on the second floor. It was very traditional and pretty cute.
Buyers who saw the exterior expected to see something similar inside and they did to a point. The interior included a fancy trim package, two fireplaces with over mantels and a beautiful dining room with even more fancy trim. The dormers upstairs had window seats with storage underneath. All in all it was in fact a very traditional house with an excellent location and a good market price.
There was just one problem and it was a big one for people who liked the character of the exterior.
The kitchen was very modern with flat cabinet doors made of melamine with oak trim. The cabinets were nice custom cabinets and well organized but they did not go with the rest of the house. People who liked the house hated the kitchen. Because of this one problem the house didn’t sell.
We were determined to make our plans come true so we took the house off the market, refaced the kitchen with raised panel doors, over 40 doors and drawers. We painted them to match the creamy trim color of the whole house. It cost us about $1,200 and lots of work over one weekend work marathon.
After we were finished we put the house back on the market. It sold immediately for the asking price and it closed within a month.
We knew when we bought the house that the kitchen wasn’t right for the house, but it was a nice kitchen for me, a dedicated cook. The style of the doors didn’t work, but we thought most people could look past the doors.
Well, we were wrong. The doors were a deal breaker.
We learned a hard lesson.
There are many examples of this same problem. Imagine a house that is a hard modernist structure with clerestory windows and lots of angles having country kitchen with flowered wallpaper.
Another possibility could be a Georgian or colonial style with modern decorating inside. The décor does not meet peoples’ expectations.
Potential buyers who look at homes generally have styles in mind when they are shopping. It’s wise to make sure they see whatever they are likely to expect.
To make your home feel more comfortable and work better at resale, decorate it to blend harmoniously with the exterior architecture of your home. Keep finishes and décor consistent throughout the house, both inside and outside.
Whether your house is a Victorian, a craftsman bungalow, a classic farmhouse, a mid century modern, an adobe or any other identifiable architectural style, it’s advantageous for resale to match your interior design to the architectural character of the exterior.