One of the main priorities for buyers when choosing a new home - after the condition of the kitchen and bathroom(s) - is storage. We lead busy lives and functionalism in a home is important.
Every area of a house needs a storage solution. It doesn't have to be built-in, necessarily - it might be a shoe cabinet in the entry hall or some toy baskets in the rumpus - but in this age of high consumerism, we collect a lot of stuff that needs to be housed. Too much "clutter" can kill the dream lifestyle that you are showcasing your buyers, so make sure you have somewhere to hide it.
Fortunately, most master bedrooms in Australia come with built-ins - lucky, because it's hard to find stylish, free-standing ones. But what if there aren't any? Is it worth the cost of installing them?
I believe they ARE a valuable investment, but only as long as you can afford them. A large bedroom with no storage can be off-putting to buyers, due to the cost and the time required to organise new, during what can already be a very stressful experience.
If you are "flipping" property that includes substantial renovations, storage is obviously a huge consideration at the planning stage, and some of the best design trends are not necessarily the most efficient when it comes to functionalism. For styling to sell, you need a different mindset - ie. the mindset of what is going to appeal to the largest proportion of your potential buyers.
While floating sinks look great in interiors magazines, they're not ideal when it comes to storing cleaning products. And when it comes to the kitchen, it's important to bear in mind how many electrical appliances we own these days and the necessity of space for recycling boxes.
So, if you're styling to sell, what do you really need to think about when it comes to storage?
1. If you don't already have built-ins in your master bedroom, I believe that they are a sound investment.
2. Home storage works best when it is integrated. If your wardrobes or built-in cupboards are outdated or dark in colour, refresh them with a coat of "white" paint, which will make the overall space of the room feel bigger. If you are installing new wardrobes, mirrored or white laminate finishes are a good option, and double hanging is a great space saver.
3. If you are struggling to contain the kids' toys, a storage cupboard with baskets can look appealing and add texture to a room, as well as providing an easy solution for dumping stray toys prior to inspections.
4. Fortunately, baskets are on trend at the moment and they can be used to hide a multitude of sins - from shoes in the hallway, to magazines, beach towels and books. They also add texture and a sense of cosiness to a space.
5. Avoid over-cluttering your kitchen bench top during inspections. Aside from a bowl of fruit or a vase of flowers, it is wise to keep the surface clear so that your buyer can visualise the space it offers.
6. If you're installing a new kitchen and space is limited, floor to ceiling cabinets and islands with storage can double your storage space.
7. In an ideal world, open shelving and hooks/pegs are not a perfect solution when styling a property to sell. But if you are living in the property with a large family, they can be great way to tidy away wellies and raincoats, sports equipment or shoes, and canvas bags full of rainy-day craft materials and games. Alternatively, use them to tidy away pot plants on your balcony or deck.
8. For small properties, buy smart furniture. Dual-purpose furniture not only looks good, but it also serves a purpose. Antique trunks and ottomans can double up as occasional tables as well as being the perfect storage solution for your guest doona. A coffee table with a shelf is the perfect vessel for magazines and books.
9. Think about how your garage is organised and pack away any loose belongings in labeled containers. The area is an important space for your buyer - particularly in Australia - and they need to knows what will fit in there.
Images: 1. Found on Pinterest from Better Homes And Gardens 2. Found on Pinterest from Decorpad.
Where to go on the Northern Beaches: Ikea offers a vast range of affordable storage solutions and Howard Storage also offers a stylish range for kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. Some of the smaller retail outlets such as Beachwood in Avalon and Drift Home in Collaroy offer custom-made furniture, which can be built to any size.