Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer
I feel like I post on this topic every couple of years, but it’s something I feel quite strongly about — decorating your house for yourself rather than for some possible future unknown owner of your house.
During my kitchen remodel, and especially after I started painting my kitchen cabinets green and adding gold leaf, I was asked several times, “But aren’t you concerned about resale?” And even after I had finished my kitchen, and I was overjoyed with the fact that I, the current homeowner, had the kitchen of my dreams, I still had people asking, “But isn’t resale a concern?”
Ummm…no. I have the most gorgeous (to me) kitchen I’ve ever seen, and I walk in there every day and stare at it, amazed that it’s mine, and that such a gorgeous (to me) kitchen is in my house, and that I created such a gorgeous (to me) kitchen with my own hands. No, my kitchen isn’t everyone’s taste, but it perfectly suits my style and personality. I can assure you that some possible future unknown owner of my house is the absolute last thing on my mind every time I walk into my kitchen.
Fortunately, Matt and I aren’t concerned with resale anyway, since we’re planning on this home being our final home. So I can paint cabinets green, and paint walls black, and tile my bathroom walls with white and gold mosaic tile (that idea is still formulating in my head) with wild abandon. But even if we were planning selling in five or ten years, you know what? I wouldn’t do anything differently. Right now, this house is mine. And right now, this house needs to reflect my personality.
I have to admit that the mindset of decorating for a possible future owner is one that I personally will never, ever understand, with one possible exception. If a person/family knows for sure that they will only be in a house for a year or two (like maybe he or she does contract work and knows without a doubt that he or she will be moving in a year when the contract is up), then I can understand keeping things simple and neutral. But if you have no certain plans to sell, or if your planning on selling “possibly in five or ten years or so”, then what’s the point in decorating for someone else, especially some presently-unknown future possible home buyer that will come along in possibly five or ten years?
More than likely, even if you keep things perfectly neutral with all safe choices, the next homeowner will want to redo everything anyway. Either those perfectly neutral and safe choices that you made ten years ago will now be outdated when you want to sell, or those perfectly neutral choices just won’t suit the new homeowner.
You could make all kinds of safe “upgrades” to your house, like putting in granite countertops in the kitchen (even though you really wanted marble), and selecting a granite that is generally well liked and “neutral” (in this area, that would probably be New Venetian Gold), but that’s no guarantee that the next homeowner will like it and want to keep it. The next homeowner could be someone like me, who actually dislikes all granite, most of all the ubiquitous New Venetian Gold, and will rip it out as soon as she has the opportunity. So that “neutral” and “safe” upgrade that you made to please that unknown future owner of your house would be a waste, when you could have gotten what you liked and enjoyed what you liked for the years that you were in your home.
My point is this. Unless you fit into that category that I spoke about earlier, and have a definitely sell date due to a job contract ending or something like that, decorate your house for you. If you want to paint your kitchen cabinets red, then do it!
Why be concerned whether or not some possible future owner in ten years will like your cabinets? Enjoy what you love!
If you want to paint your entryway pink, do it!
After all, it’s just paint!
Or if you want to put up some bold wallpaper in your office, go for it!
So I encourage you to stop worrying about what that unknown possible future homeowner might think about your choices (again, unless you have definite plans to sell in the near future), and start decorating for you! Create a home that you love and that reflects your personality, regardless of what others may think about it.
And that’s my annual pep. 🙂 You decorate for you!
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!