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Interior Design Gripes

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The sensible home owner will take stock of presentation before launching their property to market. The aim of any upgrades to interiors should be to appeal to the widest possible audience giving you the maximinum chance of securing an offer at the best price. But it would be easy to fall into the trap of putting people off your property if the choices you make are ill conceived. 

A Mumsnet user sparked a debate on our top interior design peeves which included bossy instructions and cushions with messages. Users also dismissed rattan hearts and wooden lettering. Who knew that a few wooden letters spelling 'LOVE' would spark such a storm? 

Wall stencils or stickers telling people what to do were on the list of interiors pet hates. The most popular trend to come under attack was bossy 'instructions' in the form of stencilled letters on walls or cut-out wooden letters spelling out 'MR & MRS' or 'RELAX'. Similarly, wallpaper in bathrooms telling you to 'bathe' or 'wash' or signs above beds saying 'Sleep' or 'Dream'. Hearts made out of wicker and hung by tartan ribbon were roundly dismissed.

Equally snubbed were inspirational quotes stencilled onto walls or framed. The phrase 'Excuse the mess, my children are busy making memories' was cited as a particular horror. 

Boring wall colours also came under attack. Karine Kong, the interiors guru behind Bodie & Fou, ( has a particular bugbear. 'I'm not sure who came up with the idea that painting walls pale yellow like your granny's apartment would be lower maintenance,' she says, 'but magnolia walls remind me of that Ikea TV ad Chuck Out Your Chintz, which aired in 1996'. 

Vases full of sticks intertwined with fairy lights were another style cliche everyone hated, as were family photos printed onto canvasses, bunting used indoors and televisions hung above fireplaces. 

The humble cushion took a bashing, too. The interior designer Rita Konig weighs in: 'I love soft squishy pillows, but I can't stand cushions - bullet-like things covered in fabric to go with the room, which you then have to throw on the floor to be able to get into bed.  'My other pet hate is so many cushions on a sofa that there is no room to squeeze in your bottom.' 

So why do we care so much about what other people do with their homes? 'We all think we're experts,' says Rebecca Sterling, author of the interiors style blog Roses and Rolltops, who has more than 60,000 followers on Instagram. 'Interiors are such a personal choice, even more so than fashion as you have to live with your decisions for a long time. It's natural to think that a lovely house has been ruined by bad decoration.' Sterling's most-hated interiors quirks? 'Sparkly granite! Also, orange oak makes me feel sick. Purple or silver velour curtains with silver rings in them or beds that fold out of wardrobes.' 

Does our obsession with what is right and wrong in the home actually come down to our preoccupation with class - and the fact that certain interior styles speak volumes about where you are in the system? It can't be, says Sophia Money-Coutts, features director of the society magazine, Tatler. The aristocracy are just as guilty as everyone else of interior design faux pas, having signs in their homes saying 'Save water, drink wine,' and slogans knitted onto cushions. 

So how to make good choices? Give us a call today and we can give you the best advice for marketing your property.

Article taken in part from

Important Information
All property sales and the financial advice that surrounds them are as unique as the people engaging in the transaction. It is important to not make a decision without seeking professional advice. If you want to sell your home and are considering redecorating before marketing, speak to one of our Property Professionals to get the best advice for presenting your home for sale before making any investment.  



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