Bedrooms are not just a place to put your head down, or to watch Netflix and chill. They also hold our most intimate moments as humans: from the sensual to the the snoring; the days of colds and flu; standing in front of the mirror checking your outfit for going out and, of course, the scramble in the morning when you’re running late for work. A bedroom, in short, performs a lot of duties more and needs to look up to the task for potential buyers.
Because it’s both our place to flop and our rushing room, the bedroom’s roles can get conflicted and we stop seeing the shoes under the bed, the dust on the nightstand, the pile of clothes to be ironed… But a potential buyer will certainly notice. What’s more, if the bedroom raises an urgh instead of an aah, it can be an emotional turn off, and one that’s harder to reimagine than a less personal space.
Presenting your bedroom(s) as relaxed, comfy, cosy and yummy will not only help you find a buyer faster, but also give you higher-quality restfulness during the time of selling your home. That’s a win-win situation, and those are always the best. So let’s take a look at how to create plush personal havens that make buyers fall in love.
Firstly, blank that canvas. Yes, everything that isn’t beautiful or useful (as the Victorian art critic Ruskin used to say) goes NEATLY in a cupboard or a drawer, or off to a charity shop. There is an art to de-cluttering a bedroom: going at it Marie Condo on a mission is no bad thing, as buyers are put off by personal jumble, but strike a balance between uncluttered and empty; what you are aiming for is spacious, calm and delightful. Piles of anything are out, particularly magazines and newspapers: so find a place for them, or say goodbye.
Now, take a hard look. Does anything look remotely dingy? Any marks on the walls? A strange spot on the rug from a morning coffee spillage? If it doesn’t look clean enough to eat off, it’s time for a spring clean, even if it’s autumn or winter. Remember the windows, picture frames, lampshades, light switches and, yes, even under the bed. And don’t forget cushion covers, bed covers and rugs. Pretty much everything can be cleaned and you’ll notice just how fresh and uplifting the entire room feels when everything sparkles and shines.
With everything clean, look at the arrangement of the furniture. Can you move things around to improve the flow of the room? If you can possibly avoid it, don’t have a bed crammed up against a wall; even a little space around it makes a huge difference. Ideally, you want nightstands and lamps on both sides of the bed: it conjures the image of reading quietly before sleep. Do you have room for a reading spot? Then make one. A stylish chair (which might free up space from somewhere else in the house) and a reading lamp give a sense of quiet sanctuary and show off the greatest luxury of all: space.
If your bedroom now looks sparkling, spacious, but spartan, add a touch of luxury and comfort. New bed linen lifts a room instantly, and you get to take it to your next home. Unless you’re a colour maven, get something neutral but contemporary, adding splashes of colour with new, plump and inviting cushions. Think colour-wheel and go for cushions in an opposite shade for a shot of designer pizazz. Perhaps a sheepskin rug by the bed, or on the chair, or both? A hint of hygge is both fashionable and timeless: who doesn’t think of snuggling when they see that?
You might be lucky enough to overlook Christ Church Green, Wanstead Flats, Coronation Gardens or some other local parkland, but most of property in Wanstead, Leytonstone, Leyton and Forest Gate sits on streets with houses opposite each other. So for privacy without shutting out the light, consider opaque film on the lower half of the windows, or upside down Roman blinds that raise up from the bottom to close. Make sure any window dressings are hung properly and maximise the light when open (there’s little that screams neglect more than sagging curtains or blinds). A mirror opposite the window will not only reflect the view, but also throw light back into the room.
Now it’s time to dress the room. A couple of beautiful books on the bedside table say “time to read me here”. A thriving plant or three – either big and blousy or cute little succulents – adds a touch of the living world and, if you have the right spot, a hanging plant is pure Instagram magic. If your bedroom has a desk, a plant can soften the workspace feel and help it blend into the room. Avoid papers in horizontal heaps: sort them into plain boxes with lids, or vertical files. A vintage ceramic dish with a lid is a great place to hide paperclips, elastic bands, business cards etc. A stylish and inexpensive way to hide a multitude of necessary clutter-sins.
Unless you live in a minimalist white cube, having every wall bare in a bedroom feels just a bit sad. Even one big print or painting will immediately elevate the room, and can be better than a myriad of mismatches. If you already have art up, make sure the pictures actually work together and are hung properly. As a general rule pictures should be hung so that the tops of the frames are in line with each other. If you have artwork that no longer compliments the room or has faded from its glory, find something new to put in the frame: anything from a piece of stylish fabric, to a new print or poster, or even luxury wrapping paper.
We use our sense of smell more than most of us appreciate and bedrooms can retain the fragrant delights of laundry and humanity. It’s normal, but it doesn’t sell (unlike roasting coffee and baking bread in the kitchen), so air the room for a few minutes at least once a week, and ideally every day if it’s being used. A light ‘pillow spray’ can spruce the air before viewings, while unused scented candles or a reed diffuser ensure a constant pleasant scent.
And finally, remember to make the bed! Plump the pillows, shake the duvet and turn it back for extra appeal. Pop on a cushion or two and you’re good to go!