My house is going on the market over the holiday season. I don’t want to miss out on decorating, but I also don’t want to distract buyers from the real beauty of my historic home. How much is too much when it comes to seasonal trimmings? — Signed, Holly
Oh my friend, you have learned so much! I can tell you’ve been reading my columns. Less is always more when it comes to decorating your for-sale home. So before you deck those halls, lets set a few easy ground rules. Before you even bring in that first box of decorations, decide what regular decor you will hide away. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to fill your holiday boxes with your every-day items to store until after the season. The goal is to highlight your home with select holiday pieces and avoid the look of seasonal clutter.
Holidays are personal to every family, but when you are selling your home, your decorations should be universally appreciated. Keeping your decor neutral in terms of religion is always a good idea. Instead, opt for a subtle winter theme, rather than a religious one. Seasonal greenery with white or silver bows make an elegant first impression. If you celebrate with a Christmas tree, remember that a wide tree will make your room look smaller. Skinny might be a better option when selling. Skip the personal ornaments this year and consider a monochromatic color scheme of clear lights and crystal balls. Red or green? Choose green. Green tones blend in and give your tree a polished, elegant look.
Be careful not to cover your home’s assets. No stick-on snowflakes on those beautiful historic windows and no large stockings on the fireplace. A little mistletoe to highlight an arched doorway is always adorable, but inflatable snowmen in the front yard? You know better. Finally, listing your home on-line with holiday decorations is fine for December, but if the house does not sell, it needs to be re-shot for January.
So Joy, there is no need to be a Scrooge when decorating your for-sale home, but please, try to keep it more Martha Stewart than Clark Griswold. Happy Holidays!
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