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  • Writer's pictureTeam Pinto

Interior Design Fads vs. Timeless Choices: What Adds Value?

In our previous articles, we've explored how to make your home more appealing to potential buyers by focusing on key areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and exterior, as well as how to use smart technology to increase property value.

However, when considering home improvements, it's important to differentiate between what's trendy and what's timeless, especially in the fast-changing Waterloo Region real estate market.

In this guide, we delve into the world of interior design to help you distinguish between fads and timeless choices that will not only make your home more appealing but also contribute to its lasting value.

The Appeal of Trends

There's something exciting about embracing the latest design trends. From open concept layouts to industrial-inspired interiors, each design fad promises to transform your home into an Instagram-worthy space. However, the downside is that trends come and go. What's "in" today might be "out" in a few years, leaving your home looking dated and potentially affecting its resale value.

Timeless Design Principles

On the other hand, some design principles have stood the test of time. Think of neutral color schemes, hardwood floors, and classic furniture styles. These are the kind of choices that seldom go out of style and often contribute to the home's long-term value.

Fads to Be Cautious Of

Fast Furniture

While Swedish flat-pack furniture might offer an economical solution for quickly furnishing a space, these items usually fall short when it comes to long-lasting construction and style. Often made from particleboard or other less-durable materials, they are less likely to withstand daily wear and tear.

While it's true that the furniture doesn't usually sell with the home, the choice of furniture plays a crucial role in staging, especially in a competitive real estate market like the Waterloo Region. High-quality, timeless furniture can enhance a room's overall aesthetic, making it more appealing to potential buyers by allowing them to envision the space as both luxurious and durable.

In contrast, quality furniture made from solid wood or other durable materials can not only last for generations but also carries an innate sense of timeless appeal. Investing in such pieces, even if they are not intended to sell with the home, can drastically improve the perceived value of the property.

Solid, well-made furniture adds weight and luxury to a space, helping to create an environment where potential buyers can imagine themselves living for years to come. It subtly signals that the home is built to last and is worth the investment, thereby potentially increasing its market value.

Wall Decals and Textured Walls

Yes, wall decals and textured walls might seem like a fun and creative design choice in the moment, but their appeal can quickly fade, leaving you with a space that looks dated or out of touch. Wall decals, while easy to apply, can often lean into fleeting design trends that lose their luster as tastes change. Their impermanent nature might also make potential buyers question how well the home has been maintained or updated.

As for textured walls, while they can add depth and interest to a room, they pose another set of challenges, particularly when it comes to future updates. The textures are often difficult to paint over or smooth out, requiring more effort and investment to change.

Moreover, textured surfaces may not universally appeal to a wide range of potential buyers, especially those who prefer sleek, clean lines in a home's design. In markets like the Waterloo Region, where buyers may range from young professionals to retirees, having a design element that potentially limits your audience could be a hindrance when it's time to sell.

Overuse of Grey

Grey has been the go-to neutral in recent years, but it may not have the staying power of whites and beiges. Grey can also present a cold and impersonal atmosphere, which could be off-putting to potential buyers.

Timeless Choices to Consider

Natural Materials

Natural materials like granite countertops and hardwood floors have long been favorites in home design for good reasons—they offer both aesthetic appeal and durability, features that stand the test of time. These choices often age gracefully, their patina adding character to the home, unlike synthetic materials that may wear out or look outdated more quickly. In addition, natural materials are usually easier to maintain and repair compared to their synthetic counterparts, making them more cost-effective in the long run.

Furthermore, natural materials tend to have universal appeal, attracting a broad range of buyers with varying tastes and design preferences. Whether it's the luxe feel of granite, the warmth of hardwood, or the cool elegance of natural stone, these materials often transcend current fads to offer a timeless, classic look. For homeowners in regions like Waterloo, where the real estate market can be diverse and competitive, opting for natural materials can be a smart investment for the future.

In the context of staging a home for sale, while it's true that you usually don't sell the furniture, the quality and style of permanent fixtures like countertops and flooring can significantly influence a buyer's perception of the entire home. They can set the stage, so to speak, creating a backdrop that allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. So, investing in natural materials not only adds immediate value to your home but also serves as a strategic long-term investment that can broaden your home's appeal when it comes time to sell.

Built-in Storage

Built-in shelves and cabinets offer a sleek, clutter-free appearance and are always a practical addition that prospective buyers will appreciate.

Neutral Color Schemes

Beige, taupe, and other neutral colors offer a backdrop that allows future homeowners to personalize the space easily. It's much easier to imagine yourself in a home that serves as a blank canvas.

Achieving a Balance

While it's advisable to opt for timeless choices, that doesn't mean you should completely ignore trends. The trick is to incorporate trendy elements in a way that they can be easily replaced or updated without a major overhaul. For instance, instead of installing a brightly colored built-in kitchen island, you could opt for a neutral base but add a pop of color with some trendy bar stools or lighting fixtures.

Conclusion: Make Wise Choices

Your home is likely one of the biggest investments you'll ever make, so it makes sense to think long-term when considering interior design choices. Whether you're preparing to sell in the bustling Waterloo Region market or simply want to ensure that your home retains its value over time, making wise, timeless design choices is key. While trends may offer a quick and exciting update, remember that timeless options will likely provide better long-term value.

Looking to sell your home and not sure how to get started? Contact Team Pinto. We're experts in the Waterloo Region real estate market, and we can guide you through the process of making your home appealing to a broad range of buyers. Reach out to us today!


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