The housing industry is built on margins, and any efficiencies gained or disasters avoided can dictate the underlying success of investments. To thrive in this competitive market, a model home/apartment has to stand out from the crowd. Mood’s design team helps our clients focus on what the future resident/buyer will need to see and feel when they walk through a space to inspire them to sign a lease or make an offer right away.
Buyers and renters - let’s call them visitors for the sake of this article - must be able to visualize themselves living in the space. The overarching goal of a professionally designed and merchandised model is to create a memorable feeling that will last long after the tour has ended.
While some investment is required when merchandising, refreshing or moving-over a model, follow our guide on where to splurge and where to save below. The goal is to create an exciting space that holds visual interest.
Stepping into your model should be an experience. If you're not excited or inspired when you walk through the door, then it's time to shake things up a bit. It’s important to keep your entryway open and spacious to create a better flow - nobody wants to feel cramped the moment they walk in the door. Mirrors work well because they tend to make narrow spaces seem larger and brighter. Adding a few thoughtful touches like baskets for shoes, a tray for keys and a wallet, or hooks to hang a bag or coat will help the visitors visualize the functional use of the entryway.
Save: Throw Pillows and Blankets
Textiles are not only one of the quickest ways to switch up a room’s style, but they’re can also be one of the least expensive. Adding a variety of textures in the throw pillow fabrics—rather than a variety of colors—introduces plenty of visual interest. Textures are also on your side when it comes to blankets. Rather than searching for that perfect color match, work within a family of hues and tones, or gravitate toward bold patterns or geometrical shapes. At the end of the day, just be sure to select items that are cozy and inviting.
Splurge: Wall Art
Always splurge on at least one larger piece that can be the focal point of the room. Oftentimes, a piece that will receive plenty of ooh’s and ahh’s is worth the high price tag. We believe if you are going to splurge on anything, it should be art, particularly art that offers a memory point for your visitors. One good piece of art can make your space unique and elevate the overall style. Plus, it’s something that can easily move from model to model, property to property. Art creates subconscious feelings and associations and can evoke an emotional attraction. When choosing the right art piece, you can make your visitors feel a true connection to your model.
Save: Side Tables
Already smaller than the other furniture in your model, and therefore less expensive, accent tables demand less attention, so you can get away with spending less on them. They are great for layering and there are lots of affordable options out there. Whether your model is modern, eclectic, bohemian, or traditional, choose an inexpensive accent table that matches your space’s mood and no one will ever suspect it came from a big-box retailer.
Splurge: Area Rugs
Because your model is a featured stop on the Tour Path, avoid ending up with a rug that rips, sheds, and fades by investing in a quality rug from the get-go. Area rugs provide comfort, warmth, and decorative interest (color, pattern, texture, etc.). They can act as artwork for the floor, and they can create a frame in which to place furniture and define spaces. Rugs not only tie together a room, but they protect your floors and can be a worthwhile investment in the long run.
Save: Window Treatments
If you’re not decorating a high-end model with custom draperies or tailored curtains, you can easily save a few dollars on window treatments. Most curtains come in a variety of lengths, designs, colors, and thicknesses, so you have countless options to choose from. Curtains are another item that you’ll want to change from time to time, updating your space with new patterns and colors. But regardless of the price tag, make sure to take the time to steam the wrinkles out of your window treatments - we want to save money, we don’t want to look cheap.
Splurge: New Bedding
Bedrooms, especially the primary bedroom, hold a lot of weight in a visitor’s analysis of a model. This is a room where it is especially important to make them feel at home. Something as simple as new bedding can make a world of difference to elevate the mood of a room. Having a bed that looks elegant, cozy, and inviting will spark visitors’ imaginations and make them feel that much more at home in the space.
As you can see, creating the right mood for your model doesn’t need to be expensive. It’s all about knowing where to spend the budget. Mood understands that model design sets the tone of your community and affects how future visitors perceive the rest of the property. The probability that visitors are looking at your competitors is high. Make sure your model stands out in a positive way. Assessing your model appeal doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. Mood Interior Designs would be happy to help. Give us a call, we’d love to hear about your next project!