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Kellie Richardson

Selling your home and want the best price possible? Leading interior designer, founder and principal interior designer at Kurved by Design, Kellie Richardson, has some strong advice for property sellers - get out of the 80's!

“The only way to get top dollar for your home is to ensure it offers a neutral style palette to broaden the range of people who might find it appealing," Kellie said.

"You need to present your home in a way that provides people with the ability to imagine themselves living in it.

“Get yourself out of the 80s if you want to sell your home to a millennial in 2023.”

Here are Kellie's top style tips:

1. De-80s your home: The 1980s were big years full of massive personalities and over-the-top fashion. Big shoulder pads, frilly sleeves, skinny ties, heavy furniture, dark wood, plunger coffee and baked products such as muffins were all really popular.

Understandably, many people furnished their homes using this 80s style approach and haven’t updated them since.

The reality is most buyers in the market for a family home are millennials. They can’t relate to the 80s and nor do they appreciate the style and fashion from the era.

“Even if you have updated your home, if you are 80s folk, then there is a strong possibility that your home is still giving off strong 80s style vibes. Get some help to get rid of the 80s feel," Kellie says.

2. Do not put coffee on the stove top: People were told years ago that if they wanted to lure potential buyers into the home and get them feeling comfortable, a pot of coffee should be placed on the stove top so the aroma of the coffee wafts through the house.

“The smell of the fresh percolating coffee was supposed to make your home feel more homely and cosy," Kellie says.

"While this may have suited at the time, it is an 80s trick that does not work in 2023. You would not believe how many millennials do not drink coffee.

“We don’t want people thinking your home is homely, we want people thinking it is fresh, clean, open and flowing.”

3. Forget the cookies: The 80s were about food and carbohydrate heavy food to be specific. Sellers were told to pop some homemade cookies or brownies in the oven just before each open house to ensure the home filled with warm cookie smells.

“The hope was that the cookie smell would captivate potential buyers leaving them with warm and yummy thoughts about the property," Kellie says.

“Today, many millennials are allergic to carbs. Carbs are a swear-word. Keto is the new ‘in’ word.

"Do not be tempted to follow this 80s advice. It won’t work on millennials. They respond to scents such as orange and lemon.

"These two citrus scents are used in scent marketing and they are known for their incredible mood boosting benefits. They also contain refreshing properties that can energise the mind and increase buying behaviour.”

3. Remove heavy wooden furniture: The 80s was a period of excess, where people had big hair, big should pads and big furniture.

“Today millennial buyers are looking for open flowing spaces. The minimalist look is preferred as is furniture that doesn’t take up too much space," Kellie says.

“Declutter and remove furniture that is large and overbearing. Avoid dark wood, lounges with big heavy arms and sideboards that are imposing and take up too much wall space.”

4. Hide garden art: Decorative garden gnomes, painted ceramic frogs and high back outdoor settings with puffy cushions were fashionable in the 1980s. They are not fashionable now.

“Millennials prefer simple linear styling. They like designer furniture that is low yet makes a statement," Kellie says.

"They like dark pots, black, grey and other industrial colours and styles. You don’t want them feeling like they have stepped into a time-warp; you want them feeling they could live in the space. So get rid of anything that doesn’t speak to a millennial.”

5. Good staging matters: If you are not sure about how to style your property when selling, seek out advice. Good property styling can increase your sale price by up to 15 percent, Kellie says.

Staging is more about emphasising positive aspects of a property and distracting from the negative.

"Nice furniture does this, but so does placement, colour, texture, lighting and form. All of these things work strategically to create the desired effect.

"Poor staging can reduce value, good staging can increase value significantly. Take care when choosing a staging company.”

Since 2016, Kurved by Design, founded by Kellie Richardson, has provided Melbourne with a range of home design services. The company umbrella comprises five different companies: interior design, property staging, retail furniture and homewares, property maintenance and its interior design academy. In 2020, Kellie won the global CEO Excellence award in 2020 for ‘Best Property Styling and Interior Design Business’.



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