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How to use interior design to boost the value of your home

By Daisy Mason

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To find out how clever interior design can not only attract a buyer, but also improve the value of your home, we spoke to Mark Howorth of Callender Howorth, a luxury interior designer in London. Whether for investment purposes or the demands of a family, these interior design strategies may help you boost the value of your property when it's time to sell up.

Avoid fads and think neutral

On the topic of personal taste and design fads, Mark suggests that interior design is a matter of subjectivity and should reflect the personalities within the home. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t look at your home from a buyer’s perspective and see it as a product that is being sold in the future.

Good interior design should not be too faddish in a property you are selling, as this may alienate some buyers. The focus should be on classic decor, with high-quality products and materials.

Consider the property’s target market

Redesigning your home needn’t be too costly, but it can have a huge impact on its value. To ensure that any financial investment in a redesign is in line with your expected return, renovate in accordance with the location.

London has a unique property market, so you should adapt to your surroundings; consider the neighbourhood and value of the property, and to whom the house might appeal. For example, areas such as Holland Park and Hampstead are good for families, Soho appeals to younger residents, and Mayfair, London’s most exclusive neighbourhood, is perfect for high-net-worth individuals.

Predict who your buyer might be and consider things like storage, special features, and finish when deciding on the best interior design.

It is a good idea to consult an estate agent in your area before investing in large-scale improvement projects, as they can advise you of what features buyers are looking for, ensuring you only carry out beneficial upgrades for yourself and future buyers.

A home’s layout is another expensive but adjustable feature, and rooms can be reconfigured, extended, partitioned or repurposed to appeal to your target buyers. Predict who your buyer might be and consider things like storage, special features, and finish when deciding on the best interior design.

With the aim of appealing to young, wealthy professionals, Callender Howorth designed the ultimate party pad in this mews house hidden behind Marylebone High Street. The designers created a sleek décor that incorporated glass walls and a dressing room with its own bar area. This gave the property strong unique selling points and a well-defined target market.

Upgrade bathrooms and kitchens

The bathroom and kitchen are two areas that often have the biggest effect on securing a better valuation. Even small and simple changes such as re-grouting or swapping the tiles can make a huge difference to buyers’ perception of the room.

Going the extra mile and designing a spa-like bathroom with well-positioned mirrors and lighting similar to that found in modern hotels can instantly boost the quality of your home’s finish and in some cases, its value. Likewise, investing in a power shower with a stylish glass enclosure can make your home more desirable yet practical.

In Callender Howorth’s Chiswick project, bathrooms were designed to be practical and luxurious, but also relatively neutral so they wouldn’t date quickly and would appeal to a wider audience.

Declutter

Mark also emphasises the importance of getting your house organised, clean and clear. Decluttering your home’s interior design is essential when selling your property because it creates a sense of calm. Improving your storage is a great way to declutter your space and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Be imaginative, inventive, and clever, to utilise wasted space for wardrobes, cupboards, and drawers.

Callender Howorth recently renovated a 5-storey house in exclusive Kensington Boltons to make it both a stylish and practical place for a large family. The top floors were dedicated to the children and included lots of storage space for their toys and belongings.

However, the adults were not neglected, and a new basement area was created to include two guest suites, staff quarters, a gym, and a wine cellar. The finished product was a home that was clean and appealing to potential families.

Make the most of natural light

Glass is undoubtedly one of the most important materials you should use in your home’s design. It allows natural light to flood the room, making it look larger, generate energy and lift the mood of potential buyers when they are viewing the property.

If your windows look out onto a natural setting, consider increasing their size, offering more visibility. Custom-made glass doors and partitions open up the space in a non-invasive way, although this can be costly and you would need to think of the design benefit versus the cost.

The Exchange Building City Penthouse is a good example of how natural light can be used to upgrade a property’s appeal. It involved the complete renovation of a spacious apartment in arty Shoreditch, which is perfect for single homeowners and young couples.

It was the ideal area in which to create a New York-style loft with the help of high ceilings, natural light, and plenty of glass partitions to segment the space with an open-plan feel. Keeping the walls white really added to the clean and open look.

Check the small details

But while you may be focused on the larger design issues when renovating your property, don’t forget the smaller details.

Stylish light fittings, including plug sockets, can enhance the interior of any home, but small touches like these are often overlooked. The same goes for door handles and having properly measured curtains, which can add a luxury feel to your interiors.

And when you’re conducting viewings, consider the other senses. While the house must look great for potential buyers, freshly brewing coffee or a cake baking in the oven are great ideas when potential buyers are viewing your property, making the house smell homely and inviting.

It’s the small details like these that will make your property stand out from the crowd.

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