Primed Property: Prepping an everyday condo unit for quick resale

As new buildings come onstream, adding hundreds of units into the mix, competition for buyers intensifies. That’s especially true for those who have small floorplans, since layouts don’t greatly differ from one complex to the next.

Unlike selling houses, then, the goal for high-rise dwellers is to make their place stand out and feel entirely unique.

A good way to tackle the task is to play with colour.

“People are often afraid of colour, but it can actually have a lot of impact and really add personality to a space,” says Lori Morris, owner and chief designer at Lori Morris Designs. She coaches clients to think strategically when designing, and to eschew the long-held myth that places painted white, beige or grey are inherently more eye-catching.

“A solid white wall, although soothing, lacks personality and interest,” Ms. Morris says. “People think that dark colours and patterns make spaces feel smaller, but they actually have the opposite effect. The colours and patterns add visual dimension. Your eyes play a trick on you.”

When working with clients, she advises them to layer different textures and materials throughout an area, and counsels them to get to know the proportions of each of their rooms; it’s the simplest way to know how to make them feel larger.

For open-concept condos that lack a clear delineation of space, for example, Ms. Morris suggests sellers use furniture to draw the line between common areas like living and dining rooms.

“You can place a sofa horizontally across a room with a small table behind it. When you add decorative items on top of the table it acts as a wall without being as heavy as a wall.”

This will make a buyer feel like they have enough square footage to tackle a variety of tasks, such as cooking, eating and lounging, without feeling cramped.

For units encased by windows and with limited walls, showing a seller that they can still showcase some art is also key. Ms. Morris’s advice is to hang or suspend artwork from the ceiling. This will give any layout some personality while adding in a sense of walls.

Condo dwellers should also leverage mirrors. They reflect light and help open up even the darkest of areas, like bathrooms or hallways.

“[Remember, when decorating,] it’s not the style that’s important, it’s the interesting [space you create]. Whether you like modern, traditional or classic styles, always add one featured element [to a room] that will create some interest.”

-National Post

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