I’m not an interior designer. I am OBSESSED with the craft, though. Mad respect to all you professionals.

But as someone with expertise in real estate and a passion for all things creative, I’d like to offer you some practical advice I believe will make for better homes, better living, and possibly a better bottom line when you sell.

You’ll notice many of these things are decor related. So why would those affect your bottom line in a real estate transaction? Experience says that stylish homes sell better. Good style doesn’t have to be way more expensive, but it can be way more inspiring. There’s enormous value in that.

1. Resist the urge to paint everything neutral for the sake of resale. Worry about that when it’s actually time to sell. Have fun. Paint is relatively cheap.

2. Embrace the genius of wallpaper. Just apply it with removal in mind. It’s a nearly foolproof way to add drama.

3. For bigger ticket items (kitchen, wood floors, baths), go as timeless and natural as possible if you’re wanting to maximize your numbers when we’re selling the house one day.

4. Ceilings don’t have to be white. The upside of creating a cozy envelope of space far outweighs any negative. See #1.

5. Go slow. Stear clear of large sets of anything. You’ll have way more fun assembling a blend of pieces. You’ll develop your own style as you go.

6. Go down the rabbit hole of interior design on Instagram. You’ll take many twists and turns as you follow, watch, unfollow and obsess. It’s not that you need to copy things, but instead, inmerse yourself in excellent design— like you would in learning a new languge and culture. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll recognize better style and not-so-great style.

7. Hire a local designer for your big projects. Show them the things you’re already drawn to. But also know that each designer has their own vibe ultimately. Find someone you know can elevate your ideas well beyond your vision (while still staying true to you).

8. Buy real art. Pay real artists their asking price. It’s almost always underpriced given the heart involved. Artists are notoriously hard on themselves. They’d rather have their hard work appreciated than to haggle. Artists—double your prices today.

9. Buy some used pieces along the way. Timeless, forever cool or funky. Rugs, furniture, and art. It’s an easy way to find your own unique style.

10. Most lighting is easy and relatively affordable to change. Enjoy that freedom. Before selling, update your entry and dining lights to something on-trend.

11. Photos of the important people and moments of your life never go out of style. Consider small prints, though. They’re way more versatile.

12. Minimal flooring changes are ideal. I’m a sucker for wood floors everywhere except the baths, where tile rules the domain. Play it safe there with a neutral, classic vibe if you like playing the numbers game with resale in mind.

13. Have a bold vision for design that removes all chance of settling for timeless, natural materials for your big ticket decisions? There’s more to life than simply how you maximized earnings on a home. People spend money all the time on things they enjoy, and those things aren’t profitable (cars, vacations, clothes, dining). Want the green and gold kitchen? Or the colorful mosaic tile in your bath? Go for it. The worst case is that you get dinged a bit on resale. Best case? Your buyer is inspired by it and only wants your home. Win-win.

Anything I didn’t cover that you’re curious about? Comment below or shoot me a message.

Always happy to chat!