REALTORS® serving Calgary and area

Deborah Harrison, Inside Out Design
Deborah Harrison, Inside Out Design

Nov. 09, 2015 | Deborah Harrison

Hello readers!

Creating a memorable home for buyers

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a designer of buildings and space. But I'm also a designer of many other things.

I call myself an accomplished creator of architectural and interior designs. I have worked with custom homebuilders and unconventional new builds such as bale houses. In fact, I happen to live in a house made of straw.

I've also had a chance to work with restaurants, churches and commercial buildings, including a No. 1 tourist destination spa in Saskatchewan. I like to call my personal signature "casual elegance."

It has been almost two decades since I first started my design career. I have since had my designs published in magazines across the city. Now, I'm excited to have the opportunity to share my design ideas and creativity with CREB®Now readers.

Design is a gift. It's the ability to know when things look right and allow everything just fall into place. With that said, I want to give yourself permission to live in your house
your way.

Your home and work space should be an extension of you and your personal tastes, not your designer's. The environment you live in plays a huge part in how you feel. After all, design is attached to mind. You need to live in harmony with your stuff. Keep it simple.

I also believe creating the fourth dimension – the welcoming invitation and soulfulness of a house is important. So 'soulify' your home.

Love it or List it

In this economic downturn, it seems the trend is to either renovate or sell. But what does that look like?

Selling your home used to mean a coat of fresh paint and a good cleaning. That's not enough anymore if you want your property to stand out on the market. It has to be memorable.

Have you thought about restaging? Home staging is a proven investment in selling a house. There is a little designer in all of us, so try following a few proven tips to transform your everyday living space into something with the "right" appeal to perspective buyers.

First, let go of the emotional connection. Look at the property from a buyer's perspective. You only have one shot at first impressions. That means the outside should draw people inside. Clean up the yard, or at the very least around the front entrance, Maybe add an urn with a cedar tree beside the door.

Next, focus on the front door (the entrance to the home's soul). sometimes a splash of colour is all you need to say this house is fabulous. it is the interpretation of design.

Colour can be intoxicating. It can also be frightening. If there is a personalized colour scheme in the home, you may want to neutralize it by a lovely Simple White (colour of 2016). White never goes out of trend. White is the total presence of colour. Plus, you don't have to worry about the colour beside the colour. And a blank canvas is the backdrop to everyone's imagination.

Remember: white towels, white towels, white towels. It gives the illusion no one has ever used that room before.
Let there be light! you want your property to be as light filled as possible. add a table or floor lamp where the room needs to be brightened. I like to layer up lighting from floor to ceiling. Candles count, too. Mirrors also help to reflect light and give the illusion of space.

Declutter your spaces. If it feels like there is too much furniture in a room, there probably is. Don't fill space, fulfill space. It maybe with a palm tree. Or nothing at all.
Depersonalize your home (yes, the school pictures and wedding photos have to go, replacing them with perhaps a serene landscape).

In the bathroom, add a bit of drama with wallpaper, tying accent colour in from the rest of the house. Then, clear everything off the counters. Add a bar of unused soap and a succulent plant or vase of flowers.

And remember: white towels, white towels, white towels. it gives the illusion no one has ever used that room before.

Now that you have experienced fabulous changes, I wonder if you'll keep your house because you love it? Or list it to find something that reflects a little more of your personality and style?
Either way, consider it "Soul'd."

What I know to be true is our homes should reflect our tastes and values. The eternal challenge is achieving balance – harmony and soul with function and a dash of fun. Don't take yourself too

Deborah Harrison is an artist at Inside Out Design. If you have a few moments to spare, send her your thoughts, questions and inspirations to

Tagged: Deborah Harrison | Design | designer | Guest Column | home staging | interior design | paint colour

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