Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Living in Limbo; Remodeling for Strangers

If you've been following our story for long, you know that Hubster and I are wanting out of our house ASAP.  We bought this house as two young, naive and unprepared newlyweds in 2006 - right before the market crashed. And since the house value is over $75,000 less than what we paid for it, we're stuck with this ugly little house we call home. Learn more about our situation and outlook in my very first post ever, from almost one year ago.

While we're making some amazing progress on our little-house-that-could (and I love that y'all are coming along for the ride!!) we still have quite ways to go. You've all seen my never ending to-do list for the house. I've got a looong list of updates that need to happen before I'll be happy enough to either stick around for a couple of years or to put it up on the market and get the heck out.

No matter our immediate decision, we want to sell the house and move to a different neighborhood eventually. And because of that, I feel as if I'm living in limbo, remodeling and updating the house with a stranger in mind.

When planning all of our remodeling decisions and decor ideas, I'm constantly weighing between what a potential buyer would like vs. what I would like. I've already been making decisions that are more muted than I'd originally like - or that could be easily updated before putting the house up on the market - like paint color, art or light fixtures for example.

So while I'd love to add a master bathroom that looks like the image on the left, I'll instead be choosing a less risky looks like the right in hopes the resale will be higher.

Remodeling for Strangers Bathroom
Source, Source
And my dream master bedroom has a lot of color and a little edge like the image on the left, but I'll be decorating the room a little closer to the image on the right so it appeals to a larger audience.

Don't get me wrong, the 'buyers style' rooms are beautiful and I'll enjoy living in them, but they're much more muted than I would chose for my 'forever' home.

Remodeling for Strangers Bedroom
Source, Source
While it's not a terrible situation to be in, it's weird. It's like I'm designing and living in a house that's not meant for me. Even though we've owned the house for 7 years, it doesn't really feel like it's 100% mine.  It's more like 50% mine.

One way I'm making it work is trying to be smart about my furniture choices so they'll work in a more "mass appeal" room to hopefully appeal to a buyer and sell the house, but will also work in a new home stylized completely inline with my decor style. For example, a dark grey headboard would work in both my buyer's style bedroom AND my dream bedroom.

Are any of you going through the same thing? Any tips on how to make your house your own while updating it to sell?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win two pillow cases from Skoope Home! Enter through this post.  
Pillow Covers Giveaway


  1. That has to be frustrating! Hope you are able to find a middle ground & make it your own. Btw I've nominated you for a Liebster Award - check it out here! :).

  2. I wish you the best of luck decorating and hopefully you will be doing if for yourself very soon! I do like the grey bedroom! New follower!

  3. My daughter has always updated her house for who ever was going to buy her house as they wanted to sell it and move elsewhere. But after 10 years living in a tiny house and seeing what all happens around her with recent flooding (Colorado) schools , convenience.......they are finally living in it for them. When we bought our house 36 years ago, we thought we would move in a couple years. That didn't happen. We did try to sell when the market crashed but we are still here. Finally I am getting to do things my way. We had staged our home and I am taking back the decorating. Good luck.

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  5. I love your bathroom your way! Both of those bedrooms are gorgeous! I could be happy in either one but I do love color!

  6. I think both styles are beautiful you have great taste! I know what you mean about renovating and decorating for yourself Vs buyers. Im in my first renovator home with my partner and we are renovating to sell it with a 5 year plan (we are up to the 4th year now). But we are adding things in that we love like a double shower instead of a bath which may put some buyers off but I guess we wanted our first home to be a bit more about us as well. Good luck with it all :)

  7. Yes, that is something to consider, but I stillo believe that if you home reflects your style it comes across as fun and inviting. I may be wrong. But that's what I always tell myself... Good luck!!!

  8. Thanks for everyone's kind words and comments. You're all giving me some inspiration - and I appreciate it!!

  9. It's strange, isn't it? We bought our first house knowing we wanted it to be a "gateway house." It was essentially our live-in, five year flip. It worked swimmingly for us (thankfully and luckily), but it was odd trying to merge my style and stager-neutral at the same time. Just keep doing what you're doing - classy/neutral with a little personal flare. You won't regret it when the payday comes in! :)

  10. Do you have any information or articles regarding full house renovation in Toronto your recommendation will be a big help thanks.