By Jennifer Cosgrove O’Leary
Whether you are thinking of selling your home during or after the holidays, or planning to stay in your home forever, home decorating during the holidays can be stressful. As an interior designer, mother, wife, and owner of a real estate brokerage, I know first-hand how the holidays can be crazy busy. The following are some ideas I’ve used prepping my home for entertaining, and some advice and solutions to holiday decorating dilemmas and objections that I often hear from client’s who are getting their homes ready to sell during the holiday season:
1. “Where can I hang the stockings when I don’t have a mantle?” No mantle, no problem! Hang stockings on a decorative ladder (look for pictures of a blanket ladder online and you’ll see what I’m referring to).
2. “Help, I am running out of time!” Use festive pillows…a few pillows in almost any room of the house takes almost no time and are easy to put away after the holidays. Swap out those everyday pillows with some more festive pillows to bring the holiday spirit into your family, living and even bedrooms. A red plaid pillow, a pillow with a tree on it, even fun quotes like, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” look great on a pillow. Check out your local Home Goods or Target for some pillow inspiration!
3. “How can I decorate if my home is too small to store holiday décor off season?” Add a Bow! The best part of decorating with bows is that they’re inexpensive, very versatile, and can easily be incorporated into your daily décor without having to move around any furniture or remove and decor. Add them to lamps, picture frames candle sticks, etc.
4. “What can I do to get myself in the holiday spirit?” If you are feeling overwhelmed by the holidays and the thought of decorating your home is just another item on your to do list…start by going to your local hardware store and picking up some poinsettias. Flowers can considerably improve people’s moods, evoking positive memories such as anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, etc. Studies have also shown that the color from flowers has a powerful calming effect on people, and who doesn’t need that during the holidays?
5. “My house is for sale, can I decorate?” Contrary to popular belief, you CAN sell your home over the holidays. It can be a daunting task, but the good news is buyers looking during this time are more serious and ready to find a home. Decorating for the holidays while your home is on the market can make your house more attractive to potential buyers. Keep the decorations simple and neutral so you don’t cover large parts of your home and be sure to keep it non-religious. A festive feel is just right for all parties involved so decorate and show it off!
The most important tip I can give you for the holidays is to remember that the time you spend with family and friends will be what is remembered. So try and enjoy!
About the Author: Jennifer Cosgrove O’Leary is one of the top 10 Realtors® (as certified by Real Trends) in the state of Rhode Island and the Co-Owner/Broker of Greenwich Bay Brokers. She is the only Certified Divorce Real Estate agent in the state, and is also a Senior Real Estate Specialist. Jennifer leverages her years of interior design experience, as well as her degree in occupational therapy to provide guidance on the critical aesthetic and ease of use elements that are part of the home buying and selling process.